donderdag 27 juni 2013

Shooting course at old coal mine

26 June 2013

Our trainer showing how
to half-load the rifle

© Bas Bolman
Yesterday the most important item on our agenda was a training to learn how to shoot a polar bear with a rifle. There are approximately 3,000 polar bears at Svalbard, some of them are hungry and looking for food. Since the Arctic team doesn’t plan to be on the polar bear’s menu, it was a wise decision to follow the course. In the morning the theory was explained, such as the behaviour of polar bears, number of incidents and distribution. Furthermore the different types of rifles and ammunition were explained.




The shooting cabin in the mountains
© Bas Bolman
In the afternoon the practical part of the course started. With two cars we drove to the south-east of Ny-Ålesund, to the area where a coal mine operated from 1916-1962. The mine closed after an accident, killing 21 workers. After a short but steep climb we arrived at the hut. Under the supervision of the director of Kings Bay AS, the Arctic team learned how to shoot in different positions and with different types of rifles.

In the afternoon preparations were taken to go offshore with the Teisten work boat. The equipment from the lab is ready to be used on board in order to take sediment samples to measure pollution in the Kings Fjord.   

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