Greenland Ferry Finally Free After Several Days Beset By Ice

Sarfaq Ittuk stuck in ice greenland
The MS Sarfaq Ittuk beset by ice off the southwest coast of Greenland. Photo: Arctic Umiaq Line

An Arctic Umiaq Line ferry has finally freed itself from an ice flow off Greenland’s southwest coast after spending several days beset by ice.

The Greenland coastal ferry, MS Sarfaq Ittuk, had 37 passengers and 22 crew members onboard when it became stuck last Friday, March 23.

Although inconvenienced and without internet or phone service, passengers on board were never in any danger and seemed to take the weather delay in stride. 

Throughout the ordeal, Arctic Umiaq Line kept remained in contact with the crew and communicated the status of the vessel directly with passenger’s families back home. The company also provided regular updates to Facebook, showing pictures of passengers and crew playing games, reading and watching movies.

 

A photo from an overflight of the vessel showed it was just a few ship-lengths away from open water, but still out of reach. 

After more than four days stranded, the vessel was finally able to free itself on Tuesday.

A image taken on board the Sarfaq Ittuk on March 25, 2018, showing open water within sight. 

The ferry arrived in Arsuk on Wednesday before continuing to Paamiut and Nuuk, where the vessel is now undergoing a more thorough inspection.

The MS Sarfaq Ittuk was built in 1992 and underwent a renovation and extension in the winter of 1999-2000. The vessel now has a length of 73 meters, a width of 11 meters, and capacity is 238 passengers and 22 crew.

Happy to be free