British tourists injured after speedboat crash throws them into icy Norwegian seas

Boat returning from Arctic fjord sightseeing trip hits fountain in Harstad harbour, casting 10 people into freezing water

Dominic Harris
Friday 17 February 2017 12:18
A boat picks up tourists from the water after an accident in Harstad harbour in Northern Norway
A boat picks up tourists from the water after an accident in Harstad harbour in Northern Norway

A number of British tourists are in hospital after being thrown into the icy seas off Norway when their speedboat hit a water fountain near the town of Harstad.

Two boats carrying 24 people between them were returning from a sightseeing trip when one hit the fountain in the harbour, around 875 miles north of the capital Oslo.

Witnesses said the boats were travelling at high speeds and those aboard the one involved in the accident were thrown into the water “like dolls”.

They were left in waters just above freezing for around 15 minutes before being rescued.

A spokesman for the holiday company Inghams said: “Our local team in Harstad, Northern Norway has advised they are assisting 10 guests who took a boat excursion as part of their 'Arctic Fjord' short break today.

“Following an incident this afternoon as they came into harbour at the end of the sea safari (the cause of which remains unconfirmed at this time), the passengers, the boat pilot and our tour leader were all taken to hospital in Harstad for check-ups.

“Sadly it appears that the boat pilot has more serious injuries, and has been transferred to Tromso hospital.

“Six guests and our tour leader are reported to have minor injuries. Of these six, four guests and our tour leader are staying overnight in Harstad hospital on a precautionary basis.”

The incident is thought to have happened at around 3pm local time (2pm GMT) and involved a rigid-inflatable boat (Rib).

The British group were on a tour with a local travel agent, a company co-owned by a member of the local police in Harstad and a former employee of the force, police said.

Neither was aboard the boat that hit the fountain but both witnessed the accident.

The Foreign Office said: “We are in contact with the Norwegian authorities following an incident in Harstad. We are ready to support British people affected.”


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