rescue from the air and the sea: Norway, Sweden, Italy and Soviet Union help in the search for the airship Italia
As Reuters reports, the Italian government has instructed the Citta di Milano to explore the northern coast of Spitsbergen. The Hobby and the Braganza, which have been chartered by the government, will help in this venture as soon as they have arrived in King's Bay.
Two Norwegian airships will attempt to fly reconnaissance missions. They will be piloted by Captain Riiser Larsen and Lieutenant Luetzow-Holm. Already other countries have promised to support the rescue attempt from the air – both the Swedish and the Soviet governments will provide airplanes. Small aircraft will first be used to search for the Italia - but as Reuters reports, Captain Riiser Larsen has argued that if this scheme proves futile, then large German aircraft of the Dornier type should be the next step.
For all this activity, everyone is acutely aware how heavily the odds are stacked against success. The chances of ever finding a grounded airship in so large a region might be very slim. And who knows! If the Italia crashed, what chance of any survivors?