Berserker Jarle Andhøy in Trouble Again

Jarle Andhøy

Norwegian Jarle Andhøy, 34, who calls himself a “Wild Viking,” is in trouble again. Andhøy and two others are sailing the 54-foot yacht, Nilaya, off Antarctica. They have reported that the yacht has a broken boom and that they are heading for an unspecified  Argentine Antarctic base to carry out emergency repairs and to refuel.  Andhøy sailed to Antarctica without permits and is currently wanted by New Zealand authorities.  Andhøy is also reported to be sailing without an EPRIB.

Last year on an “expedition” to Antarctica, Jarle Andhøy’s yacht Berserk sank with the loss of three crew members.  Andhøy and a companion had left the yacht in an ill-planned attempt to reach the South Pole.  Andhøy was travelling without permits or insurance, for which he was subsequently fined by the Norwegian Polar Institute 25,000 NOK.

As we posted in late January, Andhøy mounted another illegal expedition to Antarctica this year on the Nilaya, claiming that he was investigating what happened to the Berserk when it sank last year.  After searching for several weeks and finding nothing, Andhøy was reported to be sailing for South America.  Norwegian Samuel Massie, 19, and New Zealander Busby Noble, 53, are reported to be sailing with Andhøy.

Berserk update: search yacht brakes boom

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.

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7 Responses to Berserker Jarle Andhøy in Trouble Again

  1. Palmer says:

    Hmmm … for someone supposedly self reliant, who has been treated so “terribly” by Antarctic authorities, he seems to go out of his way to lash himself to their apron strings.

    And sailing to Antarctica for fuel seems a bit like going to a brothel looking for nuns. Not to mention that it’s supposed to be a sailing yacht, not a stinkboat, and it’s not a very smart time of year to be travelling down yonder.

    Maybe he’s trying to add Argentina and Chile to the impressive list you gave of nations he’s managed to alienate.

  2. Timbo says:

    Yet another self-styled ‘adventurer’ who’s plainly an irresponsible and immature idiot that doesn’t give a crap about the cost in human life for his conceited capers, nor of the expense to society in general when his amateurish endeavors come undone and he needs baling out. I wonder how the families of the three deceased feel regarding his shenanigans? I don’t have a problem with anyone taking some risks in the thirst for adventure or searching for new frontiers, but there’s measured risk-taking and then there’s simply clownish and dangerous behaviour. This guy clearly belongs to the latter brigade.

  3. Dave Ungless says:

    I’ve recently read your own and numerous other articles regarding this tragic incident. I have also read the various reports issued by the Norwegian, New Zealand and US Antarctic authorities as well as other extensive media coverage.

    We are ourselves a circumnavigating sailboat with considerable sailing experience, currently making for Alaska and the Arctic Northwest Passage from the Pacific. We spent some time with Andhøy and his crew with his yacht Berserk in Kudat, Borneo whilst Berserk and our own yacht Sänna were hauled out of the water in the small boatyard there. Berserk had experienced problems with her prop shaft and we assisted in the underwater assessment of the damage and whilst Berserk was subsequently hauled out for repair.

    We got to know Andhøy, Berserk and his crew very well. They were extremely experienced Arctic voyagers. There were a number of other circumnavigating and very experienced skippers in the same boatyard who welcomed the opportunity of meeting these guys and of inspecting Berserk whilst out of the water. She was clearly a formidable vessel well designed and equipped for the conditions Andhøy anticipated. Andhøy is correct in his statement about the construction of his vessel.

    There is considerable sympathy for Andhøy amongst ‘hardcore’ skippers and crews who circumnavigate ‘off the grid’. There is also a large appreciation and understanding of Andhøy’s views regarding the need for Permits and Authorisations which establishment sailors such as Novak do not understand. There is a feeling and counter argument that Novak and McIntyre use these media opportunities to advance their own status and credibility in the conformist world in which they operate which, in this incident, is disrespectful to Andhøy and his crew who are now dead.

    There are other experienced sailors other than Novak and McIntyre who hold different views on this sad tragedy and which are not reported. Clearly Andhøy’s anti authoritarian methods do not endear him to government authorities who try and control many aspect of access to frontier wilderness. Andhøy is portrayed by the media, Novak, McIntyre and the Antarctic organisations as a rogue individual who is responsible for the death of Skaanes, Bellika and Banks. He is not. Andhøy and the equally radical crew of the Berserk were exceptionally brave individuals who knew the risk, faced them and died.

    There is little media mention or general appreciation of Andhøy’s bravery. There is, however, a strong feeling amongst the experienced skippers who know him that many who criticise Andhøy are not capable of achieving or undertaking anything close to his achievements in their own lives. He deserves some level of respect outside of the off grid sailing vessels who fully recognise both his formidable sailing abilities and his rebellious character.

    Having the wrong or insufficient paperwork is a marginal reason to criticise the bravery of Berserk and her immensely courageous crew. Maybe Andhøy, Skaanes, Bellika, Banks and Massie should rank alongside Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton, who were the same rebellious explorers as the crew of the Berserk.

    When Scott died there were no governmental institutions on the Antarctic ice on hand to criticise him and vilify him.

  4. Rick Spilman says:

    I think the facts speak clearly enough. Jarle Andhøy is a professional daredevil whose reckless behavior has resulted in the deaths of three and has put others at risk. Glorifying him and his irresponsible and usually illegal behavior only encourages others to follow his poor example. To compare him to Amundsen and Shackleton is to to ignore history. And yes, Scott has received ample criticism for the mistakes made on his expedition. That being said, Scott planned his expedition whereas Andhøy set out across the ice with inadequate provisions and planning and ended up having to be rescued themselves. And, of course, the result of leaving leaving the Berserker in the hands of less experinced crew in highly dangerous waters speaks for itself.

  5. Dave Ungless says:

    History is well populated by explorers and adventurers who ‘got it wrong’. As Shackleton famously said “Human effort isn’t worth a damn unless it achieves results.” Andhøy will no doubt be judged by those who sleep well in their beds every night.

    This is old news now and the media world moves on. You’re a good author Rick (I’ve read your book). Controversy and bravery go hand in hand to create a writer’s dream….?

  6. vlad says:

    The ones who are critical about his behavior are nothing but slaves.You do not belong to the sailing world and what it really means. You are missing the crucial point of it. People die all the time but few lived a life like Skaanes, Bellika and Banks. You are at least desrespectfull in what it regards them and there regretful passing. They were true explorers and not some retard kids that Andhoy drag along. Peace to them all

  7. Rick Spilman says:

    Vlad, spare me your foolish chest-pounding.