A Norwegian Coast Guard ship just reached the North Pole

It's the first Norwegian vessel to do so.

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - August 22, 2019
Captain Geir-Magne Leinebø and CAATEX expedition leader Dr. Hanne Sagen at the North Pole on Wednesday. (Norwegian Coast Guard via The Independent Barents Observer)

On Wednesday, the Norwegian Coast Guard ship KV Svalbard made history by becoming the first Norwegian vessel to reach the North Pole, the Coast Guard writes in a tweet.

The ice-breaking capable ship is sailing in the Arctic ice as part of CAATEX, an ocean climate change research project led by Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre.

TV2 reports that the Norwegian ship partly sailed in a path in the ice made by a Russian icebreaker. Sailing with tourists to the North Pole, the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 let Pobedy has been to the top of the world five times this summer.

It was also a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker, the Arktika, that on Aug. 17, 1977 became the world’s first surface vessel to reach the North Pole. First attempt to drift over the Arctic Ocean was done by Fridtjof Nansen and his crew onboard the Fram in 1893-96.

Sailing under the ice, the U.S. nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus became the first to reach the North Pole on August 3rd, 1958.

The first non-nuclear-powered ship to reach the North Pole was the Swedish icebreaker Oden in September 1991.

In 1994, the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent and the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Sea accompanied one another to the North Pole, becoming the first Canadian and U.S. vessels to do so. In 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy became the first U.S. surface vessel to reach the North Pole unaccompanied.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Healy was the first U.S. surface vessel to reach the pole. Rather it was the first to do so unaccompanied. The Polar Sea, sailing together with the Canadian ship Louis S. St. Laurent was the first U.S. ship. This story has been updated to reflect this.