David Nike Senior Contributor
A woman who fell from the deck of a Hurtigruten vessel as it approached the port in Ålesund has died in hospital. Following interviews with fellow passengers, police do not suspect any criminal activity.
The Norwegian woman in her 40s–whose identity has not been released by authorities–fell from the MS Finnmarken vessel as it approached Ålesund during Wednesday evening on its regularly scheduled northbound journey. A major search and rescue operation was launched but it was hampered by the darkness and stormy weather. Nevertheless, a helicopter, six vessels and divers managed to locate the woman approximately one hour after she fell.
Soon after she was rushed to the local hospital in Ålesund, her condition was described as “extremely serious” and she was transferred by air to specialists at the much bigger St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim. She died on Thursday afternoon.
No criminal activity suspected
Local police held the vessel in Ålesund while an investigation was conducted. They have since said there is “no reason to believe” there was any criminal activity involved, but the investigation will continue in order to “clarify the circumstances” surrounding the woman’s fall.
Police spokesperson Charlotte Amalie Vaksdal told local newspaper Sunnmørsposten that several witnesses had been interviewed. “The woman was a passenger on the Hurtigruten, she is Norwegian and her relatives have been notified. We are continuing to investigate the case and will now work on mapping the course of events,” she said.
A Hurtigruten spokeswoman said the company was following normal procedures and that it is a police matter.
Serving the Norwegian coast
The MS Finnmarken is one of the Hurtigruten ships that operate along the Norwegian coastal voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes. A vital cargo supply link, the daily ferries are also marketed as a round-trip cruise.
This is not the first incident of note along the western coast of Norway this year. Back in March, 479 people were airlifted to safety as the Viking Skylost propulsion in stormy weather, not far from the MS Finnmarken incident.