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Repairman Accidentally Sailing to South Pole

Antarctica International Space Station
Antarctica from the International Space Station. Not exactly the ideal spot for an impromptu voyage. (Image credit: NASA)

A New Zealand repairman working on a docked ship has suddenly found himself on a voyage to the South Pole. Whoops.

The mechanic was working on an anchor aboard the ship in the Auckland, New Zealand, harbor, when the yacht sailed off as immigration officials tried to serve deportation papers on the skipper, reported the London Telegraph.

The captain, 34-year-old Norwegian adventurer Jarle Andhoy, and three crew members are sailing without a permit to Antarctica's Ross Sea, in defiance of both the Norwegian and New Zealand governments. Andhoy has a history of such wild behavior, and during an attempt to reach the South Pole last year, he had to be air-lifted to safety. His yacht, Berserk, sank in a storm and three men died. That ship was carrying supplies for his attempt to reach the South Pole on four-wheelers.

Andhoy, a self-declared Viking, is seeking the wreckage of Berserk. Norwegian officials are currently searching for the rogue captain, but New Zealand officials have no plans to rescue the accidental captive Kiwi, according to news reports.

The South Pole was the backdrop for another crazy feat earlier this month. Pat Farmer, a 48-year-old former member of the Australian House of Representatives, battled injuries and brutal weather to become the first person to run from the North Pole to the South Pole

You can follow OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel on Twitter: @btisrael. Follow OurAmazingPlanet for the latest in Earth science and exploration news on Twitter @OAPlanet and on Facebook.

Brett Israel was a staff writer for Live Science with a focus on environmental issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, and has studied doctorate-level biochemistry at Emory University.