Faroese Receive Cold Welcome In Reykjavík Harbour

Faroese Receive Cold Welcome In Reykjavík Harbour

Published August 30, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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A damaged Faroese fishing ship was intially refused service in Reykjavík Harbour. That situation changed after protests from Faroese and Icelanders alike.

Vísir reports that the Faroese mackerel fishing boat Næraberg experienced severe engine trouble on their way from fishing stocks in Greenland waters last Thursday. This prompted the captain to put in a request to Reykjavík Harbour, the closest port of call, in order to conduct repairs.

However, the answer they received was that they were welcome to dock in Reykjavík harbour, but the crew would not be permitted to disembark, nor would they receive food, drinking water or oil. The refusal was based on a law on fishing vessels, which states that ships from countries that have no international agreements with Iceland and that fish in areas that Icelandic vessels do, whether inside or outside Icelandic waters, will not be permitted to dock in Icelandic harbours.

The refusal both surprised and angered the Faroese crew, with Captain Egil Petersen telling the Faroese news site Aktuelt.fo that he will not soon forget the treatment, adding, “Shame on you, Icelanders!”

Many Icelanders were as well unhappy with the treatment. Nearly 10,000 Icelanders put their Likes with the Facebook group “Faroese: We Apologise”.

The position of Icelandic authorities was reversed yesterday, Vísir reports, as Icelandic Coast Guard Director of Operations Ásgrímur Ásgrímsson told listeners to radio station Bylgjan that ship and crew would be granted all the help they need to repair their ship and get safely to their destination.

“It has always been the plan that the ship would get to dock in the harbour,” he said in part. “They will leave happy, and they of course have permission to disembark here, crew and all, to enjoy Icelandic hospitality.”

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