Arctic Expedition Goes Terribly Awry – One Youth Killed And Four Injured By Polar Bear

With great sadness Der Spiegel reports here reports that a 17-year old Briton was killed by a polar bear attack on the island of Spitzbergen in the Arctic. Also another 16 year old and a 17 year old were injured, and 2 group leaders age 27 and 29 years respectively. The victims were part of an expedition organised by the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES).

According to a BSES press release, the tragic death earlier this morning involved one of the members of its expeditions in Svalbard. In addition to his death, four other members of the expedition sustained injuries, two of them severe. They were evacuated to Tromsø hospital. No other members of the expedition were injured.

Der Spiegel writes:

The office of the island’s Governor explained that the polar bear’s attack occurred near the Von-Post glacier. The group had 13 participants and had set up a camp of tents located 40 km from Longyearbyen when the polar bear attacked in the morning. ‘The bear attacked the people inside their tents,’ said police chief Erik Nygaard, according to NTB-information.”

According to Der Spiegel, the island is inhabited by about 2500 people and 3000 polar bears.

The BSES is a non-profit UK-based youth development charity. Founded in 1932 by the late Surgeon Commander G Murray Levick, a member of Scott’s final Antarctic Expedition of 1910-13. BSES is one of the longest running organisations of its type.

Polar bear kills are treated like potential murders

Expeditions are normally provided with firearms for protection. But as Der Spiegel reports, shooting a polar bear is legally risky – no joke:

If a polar bear is killed on the archipelago, then it automatically leads to a trial. In this case the authorities assume the role of defence attorney for the dead bear.”

So who is going to want to shoot?

Who knows, maybe all the tenderheartedness and sympathy that had developed for polar bears over the years in their bogus climate-caused plight may have contributed to the death of the young man. Let’s all be nice to Mr. Polar Bear. The combination of getting too close and not taking the threat from the seemingly cuddly animals could have led to the group putting it guard down. This is pure speculation on my part, of course. Surely the authorities will conduct an intense investigation.

The BSES website explains its primary purpose:

Based at the Royal Geographical Society, BSES provides opportunities for young people of all abilities between the ages of 16 and 23 to take part in adventurous exploration that involves scientific research in wilderness areas. The expeditions can last for several months and the location tends to be different each year but could be anywhere from the Arctic to the Himalayas. The aim of BSES is to help the personal development of young people, through the challenge of living and working in remote and demanding areas of the world.”

The online UK Telegraph shows that close encounters with polar bears are not unusual and have occurred in the past. A disaster has probably been long in the works. Click here to see an incident that involved a BSES Expedition and a polar bear in 2006.

Finally, again speculation, the relatively youthful age of the expedition leaders also indicates to me that the group may not have had the experience needed to properly judge the risks and dangers involved. There are going to be lots of really tough questions in the days and weeks ahead.

UPDATE: Kook Russian rag blames student for the murder of the bear. Hat-tip Reader Paul: Obviously the author of that nonsense was probably hitting the vodka bottle a little too hard.

22 responses to “Arctic Expedition Goes Terribly Awry – One Youth Killed And Four Injured By Polar Bear”

  1. Ecotretas

    They were not really prepared. See the blog citations they did at:

  2. DirkH

    The organizers of these trips had it coming. Getting mauled by a bear seems to be all the rage, see here, in Alaska two weeks ago.

    1. DirkH

      And as Ecotretas points out, the trips were called “Techniques to Investigate Climate Change in Svalbard”. IOW Warmist guilt trips. And the organizers,
      have completely shut down all their content and only display a message. Something to hide? You betcha. I’m too lazy to use the wayback machine. Uh, no i’m not.

      1. Ecotretas

        Google cache does some wonders also!

  3. papertiger

    “The aim of BSES is to help the personal development of young people, through the challenge of living and working in remote and demanding areas of the world.”

    In this aim the BSES was successful. These young people got more personal growth in a minute then they received from all of their climate change spewing professors in total.

    I think they will still dream of polar bears, especially while camping out in tents.

  4. R. de Haan
  5. Ecotretas

    Using the Monnett technique, a paper could be published where one could argue that statistically we only saw one polar/human death, but others should have happened in Greenland, Nunavut and Russia. So, statistically, 4 polar bears should have died, with 4 humans along them!

  6. mwhite

    Here it is. This is what you expected to see

    “Incidents like this, however, could become more common.

    The reason is climate change.”

    1. DirkH

      Well it’s entirely logical. see: The vanishing sea ice forces the last remaining Polar Bears to stay on Svalgard; while the heating up of Britain and Europe forces us to flee to the North. Inevitably, Polar Bears and Europeans will meet on Svalgard and duke it out. Completely logical.

      Lordymine, the Soviet Pravda looks like a shining beacon of truth in retrospect compared to todays BBC.

  7. Paul

    Ironically the front page of Pravda covers the story with the headline:

    “Bear murdered because of British student”.

    I kid you not.

  8. R. de Haan

    The fact is that this incident would not have happened if these school kids were not dragged to Svalgard “to see climate change happening”.

  9. DirkH

    Goin to the place with the highest concentration of Polar Bears on the planet to sleep there in tents predestines you for the Darwin award; caveat, you must not be a minor, so no award in this case.

  10. Ecotretas

    Lack of ice was not a problem. Some days before the had blogged:

    “Unfortunately a Westerly wind and freak climatic events have led to an unprecedented amount of ice in the fjord meaning we are marooned here for the time being”

    Looks to me that bears like some easy human meals…

  11. Ulrich Elkmann

    Global Warming drives polar bears mad. It’s worse than we thought.
    Then again: Global warming threatens creation/the biosphere/Gaia, in toto. Humans are responsible, not as individuals, but the whole bunch of them. Attack on sight. Don’t be distracted if they wave carbon indulgences.
    BTW, these guys should be eligible for a Darwin Award (those rules are there to prevent somebody from poking fun at absent-minded kids crossing the street at the wrong moment). In the tried and true tradition of Boys’ Adventure Books, all Good British Boys are fit to take over a captain’s duty at age 15 (this is not the current approved lit. can., but then boys – and girls – always have their own reading canon). In real life, they are at least old enough to spread their genes around.

  12. R. de Haan

    In regard to the Update:

    Richard North has written a perfect piece on the subject:

    Bear Witness

    Also read what happens in Britain when you take a picture of a bloody wind mill:

    A nice day out in a free country

    1. DirkH

      Via the Eureferendum link:
      WWF: Act Now. Adopt A Polar Bear.

      Uhm, thanks but no thanks.

  13. mwhite

    “Bayer threatens to leave Germany over high electricity costs”,,15300384,00.html

    “German chemical giant Bayer has warned that it may be forced to leave the country because of a rise in energy prices. The firm is already looking at increasing its foothold in emerging economies such as China.”

  14. Joe

    This type of media harangue is what I like to call “Daddy drinks because you cry!”

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