British polar bear victim inquest opens / News / The Foreigner

British polar bear victim inquest opens. The inquest into the death of an Eton pupil killed on in the Norwegian Archipelago of Svalbard starts today, Monday. Four others were severely injured in the attack. 17-year-old Horatio Chapple from Salisbury was killed when the polar bear attacked the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES) Chanzin Fire camp in August 2011. The 250 kg (about 39 stone) animal entered the camp at about 7 am local time. It reportedly managed to avoid setting off the trip wire flares traps set up around the tent camp in some way. The group also had two signal pens and a rifle.

svalbard, polarbear, attack, britishschoolsexploringsociety, casualties



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British polar bear victim inquest opens

Published on Monday, 7th July, 2014 at 01:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 8th July 2014 at 08:41.

The inquest into the death of an Eton pupil killed on in the Norwegian Archipelago of Svalbard starts today, Monday. Four others were severely injured in the attack.

The camp in the Von Postbreen glacier area
This aerial photo shows the landscape where the camp was pitched. The Von Postbreen Glacier is about 15km long and covers a 200km2 area.The camp in the Von Postbreen glacier area
Photo: Arild Lyssand/Governor of Svalbard


17-year-old Horatio Chapple from Salisbury was killed when the polar bear attacked the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES) Chanzin Fire camp in August 2011.

The 250 kg (about 39 stone) animal entered the camp at about 7 am local time. It reportedly managed to avoid setting off the trip wire flares traps set up around the tent camp in some way. The group also had two signal pens and a rifle.

Co-leader Michael ‘Spike’ Reid, one of the four injured in the attack, managed to shoot the polar bear dead with a single shot from the rifle after it misfired four times.

The two leaders and their party of 13 young explorers were staying in the tents erected at the Von Postbreen glacier located approximately 40 kilometres (almost 25 miles) from the town of Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen.

In March 2012, the Governor of Svalbard ruled that neither the BSES nor any single person acted in a criminally negligent way and dismissed the case.

Horatio Chapple’s parents appealed the decision, but the Public Prosecutor decided to uphold the Governor’s ruling.

The Public Prosecutor also turned down Svalbarposten’s petition for access to documents pertaining to the Governor’s decision.

A copy of their letter to the regional publication that the Governor’s Office emailed to The Foreigner shows that Svalbardposten argued access “could be important for local inhabitants and tourists to know the reason for this [case dismissal]”.

This request is also “presumably intended to allow lessons to be learnt from the incident in order to ensure as safe passage as possible on Svalbard,” it reads.

Authorities also state in their letter that the deceased’s parents oppose access, and that allowing it “would be disrespectful to the family”.  Their decision cannot be appealed.

Four people have been killed and four injured by polar bears in Svalbard since 1971. The last two victims lost their life in 1995. It is estimated there are 2,600 polar bears in the Norwegian Arctic (with a 30 per cent uncertainty margin – 2013 figures).

A Norwegian Polar Institute researcher has stated the fatal 2011 incident was the first time they had heard of a polar bear attack having caused injuries to the extent that it did.

This is because it is very seldom a polar bear manages to do such major damage before it is shot. Some three bears have been shot each year since 1993, deemed to have come too close to humans.

A conference in northern Norway’s Tromsø in 2013 raised the issue of climate change causing an increased risk of human-polar bear conflict. One measure discussed was the use of so-called Polar Bear spray - which can be a red pepper spray.

Delegates tried to find the best way for humans to be in polar bear territory without danger.

Horatio Chapple’s funeral was held at Wiltshire’s Salisbury Cathedral in August 2011.

The inquest at the Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner’s office in Salisbury is set down for 10 am.




Published on Monday, 7th July, 2014 at 01:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 8th July 2014 at 08:41.

This post has the following tags: svalbard, polarbear, attack, britishschoolsexploringsociety, casualties.





  
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