A boat with Norwegian travelers went aground on the Dnieper river in Belarus on Wednesday. The sailors got rescued, fed and famous overnight.
If someone decided to invent this story, they couldn’t make up a better on!
A town Dubrovno in Vitebsk region in the north-east of Belarus surely hasn’t had so much movement for a long time.
On Wednesday morning locals woke up to see numerous cars – police, water rescue, press – driving through their calm place.
“We thought someoned died or was killed,” people from Dubrovno told journalists later.
But the reason of all the fuss was the boat with three people on board that slammed underwater rocks and got stuck on the river near Dubrovno.
The boat carried three Norwegian travelers who were sailing from Finland to Turkey.
The Norwegian boat Sirius left Helsinki on 17 August. It sailed down the Gulf of Finland to St.Petersburg in Russia and then to Novgorod.
From there the boat was transported by ground to Smolensk, a city near the border with Belarus, and continued its way down the Dnieper river.
The boat crossed Russian-Belarusian border on 5 September in the morning and faced unexpected difficulties near a village not far from Dubrovno in the afternoon.
Although experienced sailors, the Norwegians – Tore Mentyjærvi, 48, Øystein Bache, 57, and Rune Markus Gokstad, 59, – were not prepared for that unpredictable piece of the Dnieper.
Turned out all three are journalists working for the Norwegian broadcasting corporation. They are also filming a movie about their trip.
Tore once lived in Minsk and speaks Russian, so there were no communication problems.
The trapped boat was discovered by rescuers a few hours later. It was getting dark, so specialists decided to start the rescue operation the next morning.
On Wednesday, divers studied the underwater situation and then pulled Sirius out with another boat.
After a couple of hours and a few interviews Norwegians were ready to continue their voyage.
The head of the regional water rescue service told journalists that the boat would be accompanied by rescuers and other services through Belarus to make sure it travels safe.
It seems Norwegian guests enjoyed their little adventure in Belarus.
“A rescuer came with us down the river to Orsha and through the remaining rapids he sat at the helm. There we were met by the chief of rescue who brought us home to a perfectly delicious meal,” Tore later wrote on Facebook.
“We got to see the entries about us on Belarusian TV, we’re on all channels… We are quite a sensation,” he added.
All in all, they “had experienced Belarus from its very best page”. Tore ended his post by saying:
“Amazing people, unbelievable helpfulness, hospitality… Like Rune said, this aground is the best thing that ever happened to us!”
Awwww, that’s sweet!