Norwegian rogue yachtsman Jarle Andhøy, 34, along with four other crew members on the 54-foot yacht steel yacht Nilaya - who were arrested last week by the Chilean Navy - are being held at the Chilean Naval base in Puerto Williams, after apparently after giving a false name for the vessel when hailed by the Chilean Navy according to press reports from Chile and New Zealand over the weekend.
Although the Chilean Navy has offered no reason about why the yacht was detained and taken into Puerto Williams as they were passing through Chilean waters off the southern tip of South America on their way to Argentina, Andhoy has been told it was at the request of the New Zealand government, although the Kiwis apparently are denying this.
Puerto Williams is the main Chilean port in the Tierra del Fuego / Cape Horn region located on Navarino Island facing the Beagle Channel.
Andhoy, who is currently wanted by New Zealand authorities, had indicated that he did not want to go back to New Zealand as he could face arrest for sailing to Antarctica on two occasions, both of which he has undertook without permission, permits or insurance.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the Nilaya is now reportedly at the naval base at Puerto Williams, tied alongside a Chilean Navy vessel with armed guards aboard.
In mid March the Nilaya reported that it had suffered a broken boom after leaving the Ross Sea and was bound to an unspecified Argentine base on the Antarctic Peninsula to make repairs and take on fuel.
Since then no further news had been heard until the vessel was detained last weekend and taken to Puerto Williams.
A year ago Andhoy’s yacht Berserk sank with the loss of three crew members. At the time Andhoy and a companion had left the yacht in an ill-planned attempt to reach the South Pole on quad bikes.
The self-appointed “Wild Viking” is best known for his controversial voyages in Polar Regions - usually without permits, or insurance - which have run afoul of the authorities of Norway, Finland, Russia, New Zealand and Canada from where he was deported in 2007. He can now add Chile to his list.
Nick Tozer - Buenos Aires