Jarle Andhoy – Berserker on Another Illegal Trip to Antarctica

Jarle Andhoy after his failed Antarctic expedition in February, 2011, in which three people died. Photo: AFP

Jarle Andhøy calls himself as a “Wild Viking.”  He has been the subject of the Norwegian television series Berserk mot Nordpolen (“Berserk to the North Pole”), Berserk til Valhall (“Berserk to Valhalla”) and Berserk gjennom Nordvestpassasjen (“Berserk through the Northwest Passage”) which aired on NRK in 2003, 2005 and 2007.   Andhøy is best known for controversial voyages in polar regions usually without permits, or insurance, which have run afoul of the authorities in Norway, Finland, Russia and New Zealand.  He was deported from Canada in 2007. His voyage last year to the Antarctic also got three of his crew killed when his yacht Berserk II sank.

Andhøy appears to be at it again. He has on another illegal voyage to Antarctica and is wanted by the authorities in several countries.

He and 19 year old New Zealander, Samuel Massie, are sailing from New Zealand toward Antarctica in his new 54-foot yacht, Nilaya.  Andhøy told a Norwegian newspaper that he is heading to Antarctica to find out exactly what happened to his three crew and their yacht last year. After being notified by the Norwegian government that Andhøy was attempting another unauthorized voyage, the New Zealand Customs Service undertook a sea and air searches for the yacht.

Andhøy’s yacht has reportedly been spotted in international waters but has not responded to radio hails in repeated fly-bys.  Andhøy has no EPIRB on board and reportedly does not want to be rescued if something goes wrong.

Last February, Jarle Andhøy and Samuel Massie set off from the yacht Berserk II in McMurdo Sound on the Antarctic coast in an attempt to drove ATVs towards the South Pole.  Shortly thereafter, in an Antarctic storm, the EPIRB from the Berserk II was activated.  Following an extensive search by the New Zealand Coast Guard and private ships, the only sign of the yacht or the three crew aboard was debris and an empty life raft.  Andhøy’s ill-fated expedition was mounted without authorization or insurance. He later paid a fine of 25,000 NOK to the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Berserk in international waters

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13 Responses to Jarle Andhoy – Berserker on Another Illegal Trip to Antarctica

  1. Pingback: Vliegende Noor op de Zuidpool | Bootjesgek.nl

  2. Palmer says:

    Andhøy represents a danger to Antarctica now and in the future, not so much because of the fragile ecology down there, but because of the fragile culture.

    The geopolitics of this strange immensity, where no sovereignty exists, are unique and difficult for outsiders to understand.

    An uneasy, teetering accord is all that binds people together in this place where human life can only be sustained at huge effort and expense — the only local resources which are not forbidden are air and ice. Even water requires fuel — quite a lot of fuel.

    Getting a litre of fuel to Antarctica costs the Americans between USD80 and USD130 a gallon, due to their economies of scale. Smaller nations can easily spend over USD200. This simple reality changes everything, because fuel is a 24/7/365 imperative for survival.

    It has always been a problem when yachts have arrived at a base and expected the sort of assistance which would be trivial elsewhere on earth. There simply are not spare resources or manpower for this to be realistic.

    Cooperation is the key to survival, not just in individual cases but at the level of culture. The first thing outsiders need to do is build relationships with the key locals: base leaders, radio operators etc. Everyone needs to know what everyone else is doing, all the time, in case something goes wrong.

    When an alien culture, based on an antagonistic view of authority and an anarchic view of bureacracy, arrives in McMurdo Sound (where private yachts do not go – not because they are forbidden, but because there are NO safe anchorages) and does the exact opposite of relationship building, they are on their own, and this is not good if something goes wrong.

    Something did go wrong, which has put a lot of pressure on Andhøy. He was not there, his communications with his support crew on the yacht were inadequate, and because they had not established good relationships and communications with the locals (on ‘land’ and sea) no-one else can give the answers he seeks. Clearly it’s tearing him apart, and he’s lashing out in increasingly bizarre and embarassingly pubescent ways.

    Mercifully the authorities have not fallen into his trap and fought back, which would only reinforce his ‘cult of personality’ credentials as the courageous champion of colourful individuality, and vindicate his carefully posed victimhood.

    This is a serious test of character, which he has failed, comprehensively, publicly and sadly, as he clearly had extraordinary potential.
    Instead, he has led himself astray with cultural branding issues, trying to commercialise a nostalgia for more anti-social times. His angle? To portray, for the entertainment of the mass market, a group of neo-Vikings / Hells Angels / Rebels without a cause.

    And it seems he has committed the one fatal crime of celebrity: he has ended up buying his own brand. He drank his own Kool-Aid. He of all people should have known that it was laced with cyanide.

  3. Palmer says:

    correction – “a litre of fuel” in my previous comment should read “a gallon …”

  4. Pingback: Berserker Jarle Andhøy in Trouble Again | Old Salt Blog – a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

  5. Pingback: Norwegian Jarle Andhøy Arrested by Chilean Navy | Old Salt Blog – a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

  6. kevin says:

    Jarle is treading upon toes going near the Antarctic, Edge of World! Wonder why it is so off limits? The only people who seemingly made in-roads there, were post WW2 Nazi’s!

    The only guarantee that comes from the interference received by Jarle is that it was all “for his own protection”!

  7. Rick Spilman says:

    Jarle is a reckless narcissist who has gotten people killed.

  8. Glen says:

    It’s interesting that they wouldn’t just let the man traverse the antarctic. Hidden agenda? People die all the time so don’t act like you care Rick Spilman about people you didn’t even know. Not only that but it’s not his funny business but the idea that it’s illegal for anyone to just go there, and don’t give me it’s because it’s just “not safe” for “man or environment” Palmer – it’s apparent that you’re using straw men to justify the stranglehold on land and resource and knowledge we have in the 21st century.

  9. Rick Spilman says:

    Don’t lecture me about caring about life. You obviously do not care. I happen to. And spare me your ignorance of Antarctica.

  10. Russell Coleman says:

    Why not let people go?? What is being hidden and why is it so off limits?? Why are so many scientists who go under officially sanctioned events end up sick,dead or declared insane? Those who do make it back are then not allowed to interact with the public. Let the man go and leave him alone. There is nothing so fragile on this earth that a few men and a boat will irrevocably damage. I don’t wan’t to hear any of the climate change BS. That died about no science and 3 scandals ago!

  11. Rick Spilman says:

    Close to 30,000 people visit Antarctica every year. So claiming that the region is “hidden” or “off-limits” is ridiculous. And “leave him alone”? When Jarle Andhoy made it to Antarctica he was wildly unprepared, needed to be rescued and got two of his crew killed. And frankly if you call climate change BS, you are only publicizing your own ignorance.

  12. Jeremiah says:

    Jarle has the right to go anywhere he wants. Governments and their border bullshit is ridiculous. Governments have been responsible for destroying our earth and yet they are going to criminalize Jarle for wanting the Truth! Sounds like they are hiding something!

  13. Rick Spilman says:

    Tell that to Jarle’s dead crew. No one has the right to be irresponsible and dangerous.

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