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Luxury cruise ship freed days after becoming trapped off Greenland coast, authorities say

Previous attempts to free the stranded ship were unsuccessful.

LONDON – A luxury cruise ship carrying 206 people was freed days after it sank. got stuck off the coast of Greenland, officials said.

The Joint Arctic Command, which is part of Denmark’s defense forces, announced in a social media post on Thursday that the ship, named Ocean Explorer, was finally freed during high tide in Greenland, which is a semi-autonomous territory of Denmark.

The 343-foot-long, 60-foot-wide ship, operated by Australia-based cruise company Aurora Expeditions, was traveling toward a remote corner of Greenland on Monday when it ran aground above the Arctic Circle near Alpefjord in the National Park. from Northeast Greenland. , the northernmost national park in the world.

The Greenland Institute of Nature’s research ship Tarajoq, which tried unsuccessfully to free the cruise ship on Wednesday, managed to free the Ocean Explorer, the Joint Arctic Command said.

“We are very pleased that everything went so well and that the ship’s passengers and crew can now see an end to the difficult situation they have been in for the past few days,” said Commander Capt. Brian Jensen of the Joint Arctic Command. , he said in a statement.

The cruise ship is now sailing to a port maintained by the Maritime Accident Investigation Board for further inspection, the Joint Arctic Command said.

SunStone Maritime Group, which hired Aurora Expeditions for the voyage, said in a statement that no one was injured during the incident. “There was no environmental contamination or hull breakage,” according to the statement.

“The ship and its passengers will now be located at a port where damage to the bottom of the ship can be assessed, and passengers will be taken to a port from where they can return home by plane,” the company said.

Previous attempts to free the stranded ship on Tuesday and Wednesday were unsuccessful.

It was unclear why the ship ran aground and the incident remains under investigation, officials said.

ABC News’ Jon Haworth, Will Gretsky and Emma Ogao contributed to this report.

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