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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5 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

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