Police have confirmed that the search for the missing Reidar Nilsen has now ended. Photo: No. 330 Squadron RNoAF
The police in Finnmark have informed relatives that the search for 74-year-old Reidar Nilsen who is missing after the shipwreck outside Gamvik on Sunday, has now ended.
Mr Nilsen and his son, the late Mr Remi Andre Nilsen (43) has set out from their home port of Hasvik on Sunday morning (09 January) to check king crab pots, but their fishing vessel “Peik” was found aground at a place called Sletnes. No bodies were located at the scene of the vessel, but two unused survival suits were found. Later the body of Mr Remi Andre Nilsen was recovered. A huge effort was made to locate and recover Mr Reidar Nilsen which involved 40 volunteer crews from the Red Cross Nordkyn power team and the fire brigade, along with other volunteers who searched the shoreline. A Sea King helicopter was also called in on the search but this morning the search was called off and police say that Mr Nilsen is now presumed dead.
In their statement this morning the police said:
“We have unfortunately come to the difficult decision of having to end the search for the missing Reidar Nilsen. Since the shipwreck, the police and rescue crews have invested considerable resources in finding the missing person in order to provide an answer and a grave to the relatives. The search conditions are very demanding and with the weather prospects ahead, it will not be possible to continue the search, without the risk of search crews,” says on-duty chief of staff Stein Kristian Hansen.
The police in Finnmark have used all the resources we have available. A beach search has been carried out from Sandvikodden to Kvalvika, the 330 Squadron has searched with a Sea King rescue helicopter in a large area from Sandfjord to Omgang. A search has been made with an ROV underwater robot in the area where the deceased Remi Andre Nilsen was found, as well as drone searches in the areas that have not been accessible on foot or could be searched by helicopter. The search areas have been prioritized on the basis of findings from the shipwreck, knowledge from the local population, and operational calculations.
“Despite this, the search has not yielded results, and the police have therefore come to the decision to end the active search. It is a difficult decision to make, but it is a large sea area and the relevant search areas have now been searched. Should new information emerge that can be linked to the shipwreck, the search could be resumed.
“We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the search for the missing person. Volunteer crews as well as hired resources have made an enormous effort, in a very challenging assignment.”
The police will now investigate the shipwreck in parallel with the Accident Investigation Board Norway, to find answers to why the boat sank.
Mr Reidar Nilsen was a former leader of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association for 12 years and tributes have been paid to him as a very outspoken person but also as a unifying force within the industry as he was not afraid to address controversial issues.
Fiskeribladet paid tribute to Mr Nilsen saying, “A united Norwegian fishing industry has much to thank Nilsen for.”
The Fishing Daily wishes to offer our condolences to the Nilsen family and friends of both the deceased.