Rescue drill

Wednesday, July 13th 2016

I got a boat to Pyramiden. The boat headed out into Isfjorden, sailing north to this abandonded Russian town. I was on the deck, enjoying the incredible views of the fjord under threatening skies, when I heard the noise of a helicopter over the noise of the boat. It was quite a way off and I wondered where it was going and what for. It gradually approached us, we slowed until we were hardly moving at all, and soon there was activity on the deck as the crew of the boat cleared away some tables at the back. It came closer, and soon it was above the boat.

I wondered if it was going to land where they'd cleared away the tables, but I didn't think there was enough space. It hovered over us for quite a long while, and then eventually someone abseiled out of it. They dropped slowly down a rope, and eventually they set foot on top of the bridge. For a long while, the rope was attached, the abseiler was inside the bridge, and the helicopter continued hovering overhead. I could only imagine there was a medical emergency, and that it must be very serious to require this.

After a long time, a stretcher appeared on the line and was winched up into the helicopter. Then the person who had abseiled down went back up, and the line was detached. The helicopter turned and flew off into the distance.

Only much later did I find that there was no medical emergency. This was just a drill of some sort. I'd wasted a bit of emotional energy worrying about the non-existent plight of whoever I imagined was suffering and I'd probably have appreciated the display of skill a bit more if I hadn't been thinking that someone was probably dying at the time.

« Burmaveien | Svalbard 2016 | Boat Journey to Pyramiden »