Staff at New Zealand's Scott Base in Antarctica have seen the mast of the yacht crewed by the self-styled Norwegian "Wild Vikings" but say they have not made it on to the ice.
Norwegians Jarle Andhoy and Samuel Massie are aboard the yacht Nilaya, conducting an unsanctioned search for the remains of their former support ship Berserk, which sank in a massive storm in the Ross Sea last year, with the loss of three lives.
Mr Andhoy told Norwegian news website Vestfold Blad this week he was upset his equipment - quad bikes and survival equipment left at Scott Base after last year's aborted trip to the South Pole - had been sent back to Christchurch.
Mr Andhoy also said he had spotted a 200-litre barrel on the ice which looked like one that had been aboard the Berserk.
But Antarctica New Zealand operations manager Iain Miller said the barrel could belong to anyone.
He said Mr Andhoy was told late last year their quad bikes and survival gear would be removed at the end of January because they were "a menace" being left lying in the snow.
"He had a deadline," Mr Miller told NZ Newswire.
However, the expedition's food was still there in case it was needed, as was the fuel, which was too dangerous to move.
"They are in pretty old drums, we have to figure out what to do with them."
Mr Miller said the Norwegians had been in touch with both Scott Base and the US McMurdo base, but only by satellite phone.
Staff at the base had seen the Nilaya's mast, but that was all. They had not been able to get on to the ice, Mr Miller said.
Scott Base staff had no idea what the Norwegians were planning as they only made contact when they wanted to, and then also through the Norwegian media.
source: newshub archive