Officials said the expedition cruise ship that ran aground in northeast Greenland earlier this week with more than 200 people on board wouldn’t be able to be rescued until Friday morning at the earliest – but help came early. On Thursday morning, the Joint Arctic Command said that it has been freed.
“Ocean Explorer has been pulled free this morning by the Natural Institute’s fishing research ship TARAJOQ,” the command said on Facebook Thursday morning, according to a translation. This was the fishing research ship’s second attempt at freeing the vessel, the first of which occurred on Wednesday during high tide, but was unsuccessful.
Ocean Explorer has been touted as a cruise ship “purpose-built for expedition travel to the world’s most remote destinations.” On the expedition website, it’s been described as having “cutting-edge technology” and heralded for its “navigation capabilities.” According to Aurora Expeditions, who is using the ship for its excursion, the Ocean Explorer is meant to accommodate 134 passengers with “state-of-the-art amenities.”
Then on Tuesday, with 206 people on board, the ship got stuck in Alpefjord, which is part of the the world’s largest national park – the Northeast Greenland National Park. Officials were not concerned about any risk from the incident and said that while it is “worrisome,” there was no “acute danger to human life or the environment.”
No further information about the condition of those on board has been revealed upon the news of the ship’s freedom from the area.