The Norwegian rescue association (Redningsselskapet) warned against the use of digital navigation via iPad or mobile phone on the water, a day and a half after authorities believe a well-known Norwegian millionaire was killed in a boating accident.

“The paper map is absolutely necessary for navigation on the water. Digital solutions can not only fail, they are more inaccurate in representing the geographical position, up to boat lengths difference,” the information chief of the Norwegian rescue service told the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

According to a Norwegian boat expert, the problems become serious above 40 knots (more than 70 km/h). Digital navigation would often be unable to keep up with boat speeds, resulting in errors of judgment by boat operators.

Norwegian authorities have given up hope of finding Per Erik Burud (estimated net worth 128 million euros) alive. In the night from Tuesday to Wednesday he crashed with his fast rib boat in a fjord 80 kilometres south of Oslo. Burud’s wife and another woman were killed. A fourth person on board survived, swam to land and alarmed the emergency response services.

Burud (48) owned the Kiwi supermarket chain, with more than 500 stores in Norway and about 70 in Denmark. The official cause of the accident is not yet known. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (original published in Dutch on 14 July 2011)