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Million tonne veteran bids farewell

Top catcher Víkingur AK-100 has been sold to a company in Grenaa in Denmark. This roughly fifty-year old fishing vessel departed from Akranes on Friday evening and was due to dock in Denmark earlier today. Behind it is a long and remarkable career in Icelandic fisheries and according to HB Grandi’s records, Víkingur landed approximately 970,000 tonnes of fish since it was delivered new in 1960, of which 46,000 tonnes was groundfish.

Víkingur certainly sailed with a top crew on its last trip under the Icelandic flag with two skippers on board, Gunnar Gunnarsson and Magnús Thorvaldsson, who skippered Víkingur for many years before retiring a few years ago. Sigurdur V Gudmundsson and Gunnlaugur Pálmason ran the engine room on this final trip. Joining them for the trip were Haraldur Bjarnason, who presents a local new programme for the INN TV station and veteran trawlerman Steingrímur Pétur Baldvinsson.

Víkingur was built at the AG Weber Verk yard at Bremerhaven in Germany in 1960 and docked in Iceland for the first time on the 21st of October that year. At the time is was one of the most sophisticated fishing vessels in the Icelandic fleet, along with sister ships Maí GK-346, Freyr RE-1 and Sigurdur ÍS-33, which later re-registered at RE-4 and then VE-15. Freyr also plays a part in HB Grandi’s company history as it was built for Ísbjörninn, which later became part of HB Grandi. Víkingur has been laid up in port in Akranes since it last took part in the capelin fishery in 2013.