Injured Canadian sends smoke signals after 3 days in wilderness

After lying alone in a tent for three days with a broken foot, a 25-year-old Canadian tourist started a brush fire on an island in northern Norway in a bid to get help.

Injured Canadian sends smoke signals after 3 days in wilderness
File image of the northern lights over Hillesøy island, April 2011 (Photo: Frank Olsen)

The ploy worked, as help soon arrived, but the man hadn’t counted on the fire spreading so fast that it claimed his tent and prompted a major fire-fighting operation on the rugged and sparsely populated island, newspaper Nordlys reports.

The tourist was camping alone on Hillesøy island, near Tromsø, when he fell and broke his foot. Since the island lacks mobile phone coverage, he was left with little option but to resort to smoke signals.

“He lay there for three days waiting to be discovered but on the third day, today (Thursday), he realized he had to do something himself,” said Jøran Bugge, who headed the police rescue operation.

The tourist was taken by air ambulance to Tromsø University Hospital, where his injuries were described as “moderate”.

After initially appearing to die out, the fire raged again on Thursday evening, threatening to engulf the island’s radar station.

“It’s illegal to start this kind of fire, but in this case the police aren’t going to take any action,” said Bugge.

Two army helicopters were dispatched to help quell the flames. Around 20 fire fighters eventually succeed in bringing the blaze under control shortly before 7am on Friday.

Some 200 to 300 people live on the other side on the island but there was little risk of the fire spreading to built-up areas, emergency services spokesman Tore Hagerup told news agency NTB.


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Canada and Norway’s Equinor reach accord on big offshore oil find

Authorities in Canada's easternmost province said Thursday they had reached a tentative agreement with Norwegian oil giant Equinor to develop a major oil field discovered off Newfoundland in the North Atlantic.

Canada and Norway's Equinor reach accord on big offshore oil find
A file photo of a Norwegian oil platform. Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

The province has agreed with the petroleum company, the former Statoil, to acquire a 10 percent share in the planned exploration of the oil field in the Bay du Nord, 500 kilometers (300 miles) northeast of capital city Saint John's, said Dwight Ball, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Province.

The field is estimated to contain at least 300 million barrels of oil, lying some 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) below the ocean's surface. Plans call for the first deep-water platform in eastern Canada, officials said.

Exploratory work is set to begin in 2020, with the first oil production expected in 2025.

“This framework agreement provides important clarity and stability (for) Equinor and our partner Husky Energy,” said Unni Fjær, vice president of Equinor's Canadian subsidiary.

According to official estimates, the Bay du Nord project will cost Can$6.8 billion ($5.2 billion) while generating some Can$3.5 billion in revenues for Newfoundland, through taxes and royalties.

Statoil, Equinor's predecessor, had announced in 2013 the discovery of oil in the Flemish Pass Basin, a relatively little-explored geological formation within the Bay du Nord.

Three years later the Norwegian company announced that the oil field contained exploitable reserves totalling between 300 million and 600 million barrels.

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