Former Norwegian Fishermen’s Association leader Reidar Nilsen missing after his fishing vessel was found aground. Photo: Fiskarlag
The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association is today mourning the loss of their former leader Reidar Nilsen who has been lost at sea after his fishing vessel got into trouble off Gamvik, Finnmark in the northern part of Norway.
Yesterday, Sunday, 09 January, Reidar Nilsen (74) was with his son on their way from their hometown of Hasvik to fish for king crab in the Tanafjord when the vessel was reported missing. Their fishing vessel “Peik” was found aground near a place called Sletnes. No bodies were found at the scene but search and rescue crews found two unused survival suits and later the body of one of the missing men was also recovered. The other fisherman remains missing.
This morning Monday 10 January, the police released a statement that it was Remi Andre Nilsen (43) who was found dead on Sunday. Reidar Nilsen is still missing and a search is underway for him, the police say.
Tributes were paid to the late Mr Nilsen by the leader of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association, Kåre Heggebø who said:
“Reidar led the organisation for 12 years. Many of us worked closely with him and therefore it is especially sad to receive notification of such a shipwreck.
“Reidar Nilsen participated in the Fishermen’s Association’s national meeting last November and once again showed his strong community and business commitment when he participated several times in the debate from the rostrum during the meeting,” says Heggebø.
Reidar Nilsen resigned as leader of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association in 2013 because he had reached the maximum operating period. Two years later, at the national meeting in 2015, he was appointed an honorary member of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association for his extensive involvement over several decades in the organisation.
During the award ceremony in 2013, it was pointed out that he has always been a socially engaged person and that he has never been afraid to express his opinion, at the same time as he had respect for the views of others. “With his sociable nature and generosity, he arouses great trust, both in the fishermen’s organizations and in political life,” said the then leader Kjell Ingebrigtsen about his predecessor when he was awarded the organisation’s highest honour.
Reidar Nilsen was a board member of Finnmark Fiskarlag for 10 years, of which six years as chairman. During his time as leader of Finnmark Fiskarlag, he was used in various contexts in the Fiskarlag system. Among other things, he sat on the resource distribution committee in Fiskarlaget in 2001, a committee that required both knowledge and the courage to propose regulatory mechanisms that everyone could live by and with.
Reidar was also active in political life, among other things he sat on Hasvik municipal council for five terms, of which several years in the presidency.
“Our deepest sympathy and warmest thoughts go to the immediate family,” says Kåre Heggebø.