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Polar Bear Mauls, Kills UK Teen in Norway

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August 05, 2011

Polar Bear Mauls, Kills UK Teen in Norway

By David Maccar

With the list of grizzly and black bear attacks this year steadily growing, we can add polar bears to the mix. While on a British Schools Exploring Society trip in the Norwegian Island of Svalbard, 17-year-old Horatio Chappie of the UK was mauled to death by a polar bear. The bear injured four others in the 12-person party before one of the group members shot and killed it.

From this story on BBCNews:
The four who were hurt - two severely - included two leaders of the trip. They have been flown to Tromsoe in Norway where their condition is stable. BSES chairman Edward Watson described Mr Chapple as a "fine young man".

Mr Watson said the society had been in touch with his family - who live near Salisbury - and had offered "our utmost sympathy".

He said: "Horatio was a fine young man, hoping to go on to read medicine after school. By all accounts he would've made an excellent doctor."

He said the society's executive director was travelling to Svalbard, adding: "We are continuing to gather information on this tragedy."  Mr Chapple was studying at Eton College in Berkshire. Geoff Riley, head of teaching and learning technologies at the school paid tribute on Twitter, saying his thoughts and prayers were with his family. The attack, near the Von Post glacier about 25 miles (40km) from Longyearbyen, took place early on Friday.

The group contacted the Svalbard authorities using a satellite phone and a helicopter was sent to rescue them. The bear was shot dead by a member of the group.

The BSES, a youth development charity, said the injured men were trip leaders Michael Reid and Andrew Ruck, who is from Brighton but lives in Edinburgh, and trip members Patrick Flinders from Jersey, and Scott Smith.

The injured were flown to hospital in Longyearbyen and then on to University Hospital in Tromso, Norway. They suffered head injuries but are now stable, Norwegian authorities said. The father of Patrick Flinders, Terry, said he believed the polar bear had crossed a trip wire and into his son's tent.

"According to the doctor and the other people Patrick was trying to fend off the polar bear by hitting it on the nose - why, I don't know, but he did and... the polar bear attacked him with his right paw across his face and his head and his arm," he said. Those worried about their relatives should call 0047 7902 4305 or 0047 7902 4302.

...Lars Erik Alfheim, vice-governor of Svalbard, said polar bears were common in the area.

"These days when the ice comes in and out like it does right now, it's not unlikely to encounter polar bears. Polar bears are extremely dangerous and it's an animal that can attack without any notice."

The BSES group of 80 people were on a trip which began on 23 July and was scheduled to run until 28 August.

Comments (9)

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Some times there is a real need to carry a gun ;) ive been to svalbard like 5 times while in the coastguard and we couldnt go anywhere withouth someone armed and ready to accompany us.. and ive also had a polar bear up close standing up against the hull of the ship with its front paws and handfed it tablescraps directly into its maw leaning over and dropping them straight into its mouth.. then the distance was about a foot from hand to mouth.. about as close as i ever wanna get to one :P but i felt perfectly safe doing that. cos white bears cant jump.....

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1uglymutha wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

it's a shame that these things happen. my heart goes out to the hikers and their families. when you come into my home unannounced you will most likely get shot. when you come into a polar bear's home you will likely get fang and claw with a half ton of ferocious muscle behind it. you f**k with the bull, you get the horns.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntinhuntinhuntin wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Are bears getting more aggressive...or are people just getting stupider around them?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from baconboy206 wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

huntinhuntinhunting- i couldnt agree more, all this news of bear attacks on people isnt bears being more aggresive, its people not being properly educated and prepared on what to do. Having somebody sleep in a tent with no protection in the middle of polar bear in country in the summer when they are running short on food strikes me as very foolish, he should have had a weapon of some sort, if their not qualified to operate a weapon safely then maybe they shouldn't venture into areas where there is a high chance of having to use one to defend yourself. With all this stuff i see on tv now about "arctic tourism" i can only imagine this happening more often. If you arent capable of fending for yourself in a wild and dangerouse place like the arctic, maybe you shouldnt go.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

they where brittish, they cant own and operate anything more powerfull than air-rifles since the population has been virtually disarmed.. so no way to get the knowhow, experience and armament needed to defend against a bear. they had tripwires with flares around the camp but the bear seem to have either not set them off or the tripwires where set up wrong.. those that where injured had tried to hit the bear on the nose to make it stop, something that probably just pissed it off worse, and both the one killed and those injured, where 2 where severely, had severe head injuries, so in the future bear proof helmets r probably gonna be mandatory in bearcountry, while the people continue to behave like total id**ts o_o

for hundreds of years having guns meant u could go to bed in relative safety, now our gouverments r trying to convince us legal gunowners that NOT having a gun gives relative safety.. i think ill go with grandpa on this and keep em..

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

From the photo you'd think maybe they could set that helichopter down a tad closer to the bear carcass they're trying to drag across all those rocks on the litter.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Sissy British and Norwegians think their government will save them from all perils.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

ohh dont go there, we arenth disarmed and most men over 25 has been in the service and had weapon training.. and we dont take kindly to being called sissies.. dont take us being responsible and courteous as being weak.. we invented berserker.. nuff said!
the brittish on the other hand is proud of being poofters and queers so do not compare us to them.. :P

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

for an update to those that is interested it seems the guy who shot the bear was a bit of a hero, although he very nearly wasnt.. from the information we have gotten here the guy who managed to put the bear down with a shot through the head ran back to the tent to retrieve the m98 original 3006 battlerifle they had as bear defence.. but he obviously didnt have enough training for arctic conditions with this weapon and didnt know what the hole through the back of the stock was used for.. scenario as follows.. the gun was kept with 4 shots in the magasine but none chambered.. so he quickly chambered the first round and tried to fire it.. round didnt go off so he tried again 3 more times emptying the magazine withouth a single round going off.. then under attack from the bear he managed to pick a round off the ground, rechamber it and this time it finally fired.. and killed the bear.. and since i have experience and training with this weapon from my days in the youthguard i know why the gun didnt fire.. he didnt know that the brassrimmed hole in the stock was to use when disassembling the firing pin in wintertime to degrease it .. thats why the gun didnt fire.. the firingpin stuck and didnt have the power to set off the shell.. so he was a bit of a hero keeping his head straight in such a dangerous potentially lethal situation and a bit lucky the gun finally fired.. he didnt know that the condition u wanna keep your gun in freezing conditions is bone dry so not to freese up in any way.. and mauser type actions are preferable since they have enough clearance internally so they will still function even with a bit of ice and snow getting into the action.. especially triggers are sensitive and firing pins. and dont bring the rifle in and out of hot/cold conditions rapidly since it will accelerate icing up when back outside.. when its critical that the gun works.. like in this situation.. the mauser m98 in original form is a real good arctic gun since the trigger wont ice up too easy, and the flag safety is dead safe and u can carry it safely with a round chambered cos of the great ammount of force and inherent geometry needed to put the safety on fire..
now yall know a little more, be safe and keep yer guns in working condition and close at hand when vacationing in places where big animals might wanna have u for lunch:P

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Some times there is a real need to carry a gun ;) ive been to svalbard like 5 times while in the coastguard and we couldnt go anywhere withouth someone armed and ready to accompany us.. and ive also had a polar bear up close standing up against the hull of the ship with its front paws and handfed it tablescraps directly into its maw leaning over and dropping them straight into its mouth.. then the distance was about a foot from hand to mouth.. about as close as i ever wanna get to one :P but i felt perfectly safe doing that. cos white bears cant jump.....

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

they where brittish, they cant own and operate anything more powerfull than air-rifles since the population has been virtually disarmed.. so no way to get the knowhow, experience and armament needed to defend against a bear. they had tripwires with flares around the camp but the bear seem to have either not set them off or the tripwires where set up wrong.. those that where injured had tried to hit the bear on the nose to make it stop, something that probably just pissed it off worse, and both the one killed and those injured, where 2 where severely, had severe head injuries, so in the future bear proof helmets r probably gonna be mandatory in bearcountry, while the people continue to behave like total id**ts o_o

for hundreds of years having guns meant u could go to bed in relative safety, now our gouverments r trying to convince us legal gunowners that NOT having a gun gives relative safety.. i think ill go with grandpa on this and keep em..

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1uglymutha wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

it's a shame that these things happen. my heart goes out to the hikers and their families. when you come into my home unannounced you will most likely get shot. when you come into a polar bear's home you will likely get fang and claw with a half ton of ferocious muscle behind it. you f**k with the bull, you get the horns.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

ohh dont go there, we arenth disarmed and most men over 25 has been in the service and had weapon training.. and we dont take kindly to being called sissies.. dont take us being responsible and courteous as being weak.. we invented berserker.. nuff said!
the brittish on the other hand is proud of being poofters and queers so do not compare us to them.. :P

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntinhuntinhuntin wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Are bears getting more aggressive...or are people just getting stupider around them?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from baconboy206 wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

huntinhuntinhunting- i couldnt agree more, all this news of bear attacks on people isnt bears being more aggresive, its people not being properly educated and prepared on what to do. Having somebody sleep in a tent with no protection in the middle of polar bear in country in the summer when they are running short on food strikes me as very foolish, he should have had a weapon of some sort, if their not qualified to operate a weapon safely then maybe they shouldn't venture into areas where there is a high chance of having to use one to defend yourself. With all this stuff i see on tv now about "arctic tourism" i can only imagine this happening more often. If you arent capable of fending for yourself in a wild and dangerouse place like the arctic, maybe you shouldnt go.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

for an update to those that is interested it seems the guy who shot the bear was a bit of a hero, although he very nearly wasnt.. from the information we have gotten here the guy who managed to put the bear down with a shot through the head ran back to the tent to retrieve the m98 original 3006 battlerifle they had as bear defence.. but he obviously didnt have enough training for arctic conditions with this weapon and didnt know what the hole through the back of the stock was used for.. scenario as follows.. the gun was kept with 4 shots in the magasine but none chambered.. so he quickly chambered the first round and tried to fire it.. round didnt go off so he tried again 3 more times emptying the magazine withouth a single round going off.. then under attack from the bear he managed to pick a round off the ground, rechamber it and this time it finally fired.. and killed the bear.. and since i have experience and training with this weapon from my days in the youthguard i know why the gun didnt fire.. he didnt know that the brassrimmed hole in the stock was to use when disassembling the firing pin in wintertime to degrease it .. thats why the gun didnt fire.. the firingpin stuck and didnt have the power to set off the shell.. so he was a bit of a hero keeping his head straight in such a dangerous potentially lethal situation and a bit lucky the gun finally fired.. he didnt know that the condition u wanna keep your gun in freezing conditions is bone dry so not to freese up in any way.. and mauser type actions are preferable since they have enough clearance internally so they will still function even with a bit of ice and snow getting into the action.. especially triggers are sensitive and firing pins. and dont bring the rifle in and out of hot/cold conditions rapidly since it will accelerate icing up when back outside.. when its critical that the gun works.. like in this situation.. the mauser m98 in original form is a real good arctic gun since the trigger wont ice up too easy, and the flag safety is dead safe and u can carry it safely with a round chambered cos of the great ammount of force and inherent geometry needed to put the safety on fire..
now yall know a little more, be safe and keep yer guns in working condition and close at hand when vacationing in places where big animals might wanna have u for lunch:P

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

From the photo you'd think maybe they could set that helichopter down a tad closer to the bear carcass they're trying to drag across all those rocks on the litter.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Sissy British and Norwegians think their government will save them from all perils.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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