Three passengers confirmed with Covid on cruise ship grounded off Greenland

Efforts to refloat the stricken expedition ship Ocean Explorer are ongoing after it ran aground in a remote part of Greenland on Tuesday.

The ship, operated by Australian line Aurora Expeditions, remains in Alpefjord as it was confirmed that three passengers had been isolated on board with Covid-19.

A company spokesperson said: “They are being looked after by our onboard doctor, medical team and crew, and they are doing well. 

“All other passengers, expedition team and crew remain safe and healthy.”

The vessel, with 206 passengers on board – including an unspecified number from the UK and Ireland – has not been able to free itself, according to an update from Denmark’s Joint Arctic Command (JAC).

A fishing research vessel owned by the government of Greenland attempted to dislodge the cruise ship during high tide, but failed to do so, the JAC confirmed with CNN on Wednesday.       The closest inspection vessel, the Knud Rasmssuen, was dispatched to assist following the incident but must travel 1,200 nautical miles to reach the cruise ship.

Arctic Commander Brian Jensen was quoted as saying: “As soon as we realised that the Ocean Explorer could not get free on its own, we sent a ship towards the wreck.

“As soon as possible, we will also fly over the site to get fresh images to help us assess the situation on site.

“We have also secured the support of other vessels in the vicinity should their assistance become necessary.”

Ocean Explorer could still re-float on a high tide, but failing that, the Knud Rasmussen would assist, he added.

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