About the Wyatt Earp Expedition

Historical pictures and how the Wyatt Earp Expedition in 1939 was canceled

Sunnmørsposten and pictures

The iceberg turned around, and Lauritz Liavaag from Aalesund hurt his leg

1Citation from the picture above - Sunnmørsposten Thursday 30 march 1939

Yesterday and the day before that, the crew from Antarctic, from Sunnmøre in Norway, came back to Aalesund, with an exception of Lauritz Liavaag, who has been in an accident during the expedition. It was nine (9) crew members from Aalesund and Sunnmøre in Norway at the expedition. They all have professional secrecy for the nearest future, about the expedition and we therefore have to be content with a description of the accident during the expedition, and hereby the man L. Liavaag from Aalesund was wounded. They had made the decision to supply the water tanks by filling ice from a small ice berg at the side of the Wyatt Earp. Three men were sent down on the ice to cut loose and fill up the buckets. When they were doing this, they suddenly heard a crash. The iceberg were cracking up, overturned, and knocked to the ships side leaving a deep wrinkle in the planks. Those three men followed the iceberg around, and the crew had little hope of see those men coming up alive. But they came up one after another among the ice pieces which were moving around. The crew threw out a ladder from the Wyatt Earp, and that was enough for two of the men, who came from it with a few scratches and the fright. But the third one, L. Liavaag from Aalesund, had got one of his legs pinched between two ice pieces, and could not come up on his own. A man entered down and got a rope under his arm, where he was lifted aboard. The doctor aboard was not willing to take the risk of an operation without expert assistance. The foot was therefore temporarily bandaged, and they made the course for Hobart in Tasmania. But the pack ice made it difficult for the ship, so it went 21 days before they got there, and Liavaag could be brought to the hospital. When the expedition left Hobart aiming for Sydney, the outcome of Liavaag's health was still uncertain. They knew that he around the knee had broken his leg at different places. The Norwegian crew travelled with train from Sydney to Melbourne and from there with the 20.000 tons ship Oronsay to London. They came to Norway at Sunday with the Vega and Black Prince.

It has been told that Liavaag, who is in the forties, for many year ago felt aboard in the middle of the Atlantic ocean from the rig of a sail ship, and swam around in many hours before they found him. He had at that time taken all his clothes off in the water, and only kept his knife and belt. [End of citation]

To the right is a pictures of Lauritz Ludvig Martin, who the newspaper article is about!

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