The Draken has arrived in Bay City, Michigan. She arrived late to the harbour because she responded to a distress call. Yesterday evening at 9:15 she responded to a mayday, 8 nautical miles south of their position. Their Facebook page states, “The crew used all their resources, infra red camera and rescue trained crew in the search for the ones in distress. The mission was called off by the coast guard at 11.15 pm.
There is not ever a hesitation to respond to a distress call, but it will of course have an impact to their estimated arrival time to Bay City. At the time the rescue mission was called off, Draken was 4 hour behind schedule. Estimated arrival is now 9PM today.”
On the 11th of July, it became clear that Bay City would be the end of her voyage in North America. Due to unanticipated pilotage fees of well over 400 000 USD, the Draken will not be able to continue. Pilotage fees were not necessary in Canadian waters because the Draken is under the length. However, because she charges tickets to tour – this labels her a commercial vessel under American law, and subject to pilotage fees.
A petition to Rear Admiral June Ryan has been setup on Change.org asking for an exemption for the Draken with nearly 9,000 signatures at this time. An official campaign has been organized by Sons of Norway to raise funds to help the Draken continue her voyage. If the Draken can continue, she would be in the SSM Locks prior to her sailing to Duluth for August 18th, and when she leaves Duluth. Thank you Sons of Norway,
From the Sons of Norway site:
The charitable Foundation of Sons of Norway, a Minneapolis-based financial services and cultural organization, and the Draken Harald Hårfagre Viking ship team have established a partnership to immediately handle a deluge of interest in donating to allow the vessel to continue its voyage as part of Tall Ships Challenge® Great Lakes 2016. Sons of Norway is proud to be the official fundraising partner for the Draken Harald Hårfagre.
The Draken – the world’s largest modern Viking ship – needs $430,000 to continue its voyage in the 2016 Tall Ships festival. This will help cover unexpected fees for pilots required to help the ship navigate the Great Lakes as it sails on the Tall Ships route. Sons of Norway and its members naturally have a keen interest in the historical aspects of the ship and want to help the Draken team accomplish their goals for the Great Lakes voyage, recognizing that thousands of people are anticipating its arrival at multiple Great Lakes ports this summer.
Sons of Norway CEO Eivind Heiberg stated, “The Draken’s voyage has stirred the imagination of so many people around the world and inspired the hearts of those within our organization, too. Its urgent need fits with Sons of Norway’s mission to promote and to preserve the heritage and culture of Norway, and we’re pleased to help facilitate and coordinate sanctioned fundraising efforts to bring the Draken to all those who have worked and planned their summer schedules around her visit.”
“On behalf of the Draken Harald Hårfagre sailors, crew and supporters, we’re happy that Sons of Norway reached out to us to partner to raise funds toward our continued participation in the Tall Ships Challenge® Great Lakes 2016. We’re amazed and grateful for the support of numerous communities and invite all to donate to “Help the Draken Sail Again,” bringing her to all the people who eagerly await her visit to multiple ports.” – Draken Captain Björn Ahlander”
Official Fundraising Campaign Site – Sons of Norway