Coast Guard acts as huge iceberg threatens million-salmon farm

Editorial Staff

An ice floe, spanning a 3000 square meters was heading right for a salmon farm before the coast guard were forced to intervene.

In a high-stakes operation on Friday night, the Norwegian Coast Guard’s 91-metre ship “Bison” was dispatched to avert a looming disaster at a Lerøy-owned breeding facility in Lyngenfjorden.

An ice floe, spanning a 3000 meters square, posed an imminent threat to the farm, risking the destruction of cages and the potential escape of a million salmon.

The ice floe, measuring 10 to 15 centimeters in height, drifted towards the salmon cages at a speed of one to two knots, creating a tense situation for the facility managers. A converted supply ship, the feed boat “Eidsvaag Opal,”was already battling the ice when “Bison” arrived.

Working in tandem, “Bison” and “Eidsvaag Opal” undertook a daring manoeuvre to fragment the ice sheet into smaller, manageable pieces, saving the farm site from a potential catastrophe.

“We positioned ourselves between the farm and the ice floe. An icebreaker was deployed to break up the ice sheet further, then the Coast Guard ship joined in removing more ice,” recounted Vegard Skarsvåg, mate on the 3,500-tonne “Eidsvaag Opal,” in an interview with local media outlet, Nordlys.

The intervention came at a critical moment. “When it was clear that no commercial entities were available to help, the Coast Guard stepped in,” press spokesman at the Norwegian Armed Forces’ operational headquarters Reidar Flasnes told Nordlys.


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