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Pole-bound Norwegians testing yacht

Friday 27 Jan 2012 9:04 a.m.

Rogue Norwegian adventurers are making an unsanctioned return to Antarctica

Rogue Norwegian adventurers are making an unsanctioned return to Antarctica

The rogue Norwegian adventurers are testing their yacht off New Zealand waters in a bid for an unsanctioned return to Antarctica, their lawyer says.

Jarle Andhoy, 34, and 19-year-old Samuel Massie are attempting another voyage to the Ross Sea in a bid to find the wreckage of the Berserk II, which last year sank with the loss of three lives.

Mr Andhoy's lawyer, Nils Jorgen Vordahl told a press conference in Oslo on Friday (NZT), the pair were not trying to reach the South Pole again, as had earlier been reported, but wanted to find their old ship.

Mr Andhoy was currently testing his new vessel - believed to be the former Auckland yacht Nilaya - in stormy conditions off New Zealand to see if it was suitable for Antarctic waters, Mr Vordahl said.

Mr Vordahl said the boat was Russian registered with an international crew.

They did not have an emergency locator beacon so they did not expose others to danger if they got into trouble.

Mr Vordahl said Mr Andhoy understood the reaction to his illegal return to Antarctica, from both officials and the families of the three dead men, but he was keen to find answers about the fate of the Berserk II.

Customs New Zealand has been unsuccessfully searching for the Nilaya after it left Auckland on Monday.

There are fears they are putting themselves and any rescuers in danger if anything goes wrong as Antarctic conditions worsen at this time of year.

In February last year Mr Andhoy and Mr Massie were attempting to reach the South Pole on quad bikes - to mark the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen's successful campaign. But their yacht, the Berserk II, is thought to have sunk in McMurdo Sound, killing the three crew aboard.

NZN

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