Families release pictures of Finnish skiers, presumed dead in Norway

Extensive search operations were underway near Tromsø but had been hampered by bad weather. Rescuers have now switched to recovery efforts.

Composite picture of three Finnish skiers missing, presumed dead, in northern Norway / Credit: Politiet.no

The families of three Finnish men, missing and presumed dead in northern Norway, have released pictures of their loved ones today.

The skiers are (L-R) Mikael Sten (29), Niklas Nyman (36) and André Stenfors (32). Their companion Disa Bäckström (29) from Sweden is also missing presumed dead, but her family has not yet released her picture.

The skiers were last seen as they attempted to get to the top of the 1440 metre high Blåbärfjellet near Tromsø, and police think they were killed by a major avalanche near the summit of the mountain. A fifth member of their party reported them missing.

Rescue crews with transmitter and receiver instruments have been flying in helicopters when weather permits, and think they have identified two areas where bodies might be.

“When we have now confirmed that they have been taken by the avalanche, we no longer consider it likely that any of the four have survived. The operation now switches status from a rescue operation to a search for suspected fatalities. We have taken this decision in consultation with the Central Rescue Center and with support in medical advice” said Police Chief Astrid Nilsen on Friday.

Norwegian police say that in the coming days they will work with volunteer crews and other agencies to locate and recover the bodies of the climbers, depending on the weather and conditions on the mountain.