Expedition ship M/S Virgo ran aground in Spitsbergen | Polarjournal
Map: GoogleEarth

This Tuesday morning, the expedition cruise ship M/S Virgo ran aground in Fuglefjorden in northwest Spitsbergen. There are no injuries, but fuel is leaking.

According to Norwegian news platform NRK, the accident damaged one of the ship’s tanks and caused fuel to leak. Work is currently underway to seal the leak. The ship is no longer aground since early Tuesday afternoon.

The Governor of Svalbard’s service vessel Polarsyssel was in the vicinity at the time of the accident and was able to quickly sail to the accident site to assist. According to Chief of Staff Taina Schuster Bjørkås, the situation is under control. However, the extent of the damage and the amount of fuel spilled are not yet known, she said.

Both vessels, M/S Virgo and Polarsyssel, have oil spill response material on board that has already been deployed. In addition, the local oil spill response team in Longyearbyen was notified.

Nothing is yet known about the cause of the accident.

There were 13 passengers and seven crew members on board, no one was injured.

Correction, June 14, 08:50 am: In an earlier version we had reported that the M/S Virgo belongs to the Swedish company Polar Quest. This is not correct.

Julia Hager, PolarJournal

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