Norway Will Ask Help From Russia in Cases of Emergency
OREANDA-NEWS. In the case of major emergencies at sea, Norway cannot do without the help of Russian rescuers, said Ronny Schjelderup, head of the Finnmark Emergency Prevention Committee.
Norway in case of emergency will rely on the help of rescuers from Russia, reports the local newspaper Klassekampen. In particular, the newspaper refers to Ronny Schjelderup, Head of the Emergency Prevention Committee of the Province of Finnmark, who has declared a strong dependence on foreign aid due to limited resources.
“Norway has entered into rescue agreements with neighboring countries. If a major accident happens in the north, helicopters and rescue equipment from Russia will play a key role,” the Klassekampen newspaper cites Schjelderup.
Ronny Schjelderup stated that at present, Norway faces a shortage of rescue helicopters, especially in the northernmost province, Finnmark. At the disposal of Norwegian rescuers in the north there is only one helicopter, not counting the private ones that serve the oil industry.
The problem could be partly solved using coastguard helicopters, but most of them will be relocated to a new airport in the south of the country. The article notes that in this situation Russia may be of a great help because it has helicopters on the Kola Peninsula.
The official added that tourist traffic to the northern regions is increasing, and passenger sea liners are coming closer to the North Pole. This summer, 108 cruise liners are expected, the largest of which will carry 3.000 passengers. Another 21 liner will arrive on the northern Svalbard archipelago, the largest of them can carry 5.000 passengers.
“According to our risk analysis, the worst thing that may happen is an accident on board a large liner. Then we will be in trouble, and this can not be denied,” said Ronny Schjelderup, referring to a major shipwreck or fire on board any liner in northern Norway.
The issue of saving people in the sea was the subject of heated debates in Norway and beyond its borders after the incident with the Viking Sky cruise liner, which on March 23 got into fierce storm and lost its course near the western Norwegian coast. The engines of the liner failed due to the low oil level. Storm made it impossible saving passengers with the help of another ship, so several helicopters were transporting people nightlong. During that night, more than 400 of 1373 people on board were brought to the shore.