Abandoned Dutch cargo ship secured by 2 tugs off the coast of Norway


OSLO – A Dutch freighter that was abandoned at sea in a storm off the Norwegian coast this week has been attached to two large tugs and is no longer at risk of running aground, local officials said on Wednesday.

The Eemslift Hendrika, poorly listed after moving parts of its cargo in bad weather, had been adrift since Monday, raising concerns that it would spill some or all of the 350 tonnes of heavy oil and 50 tonnes of diesel in its reservoirs.

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The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) lowered a crew onto the ship from a helicopter on Wednesday evening as part of the rescue operation.

“Towing lines have now been established between the accident vessel and the tugs. The risk of stranding has been avoided, ”the NCA said in a statement.

The Hendrika would likely have made landfall overnight if the rescue operation had failed, risking a spill, the NCA added.

Images released by the Norwegian Rescue Coordination Center on Tuesday showed some of the original crew jumping into the sea before being rescued by helicopter. Others were hoisted directly from the bridge.

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The Coastal Administration said earlier on Wednesday it had invoked a government mandate to resume full operational command of the rescue operation and that equipment had been mobilized along the coast to combat the spread of any spill. of oil.

Built in 2015 and registered in the Netherlands, the 111.6-meter (366-foot) Eemslift Hendrika is a yacht transport vessel carrying smaller boats on its deck.

It will now be towed to the port of Aalesund, the NCA said.

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(Reporting by Terje Solsvik in Oslo; editing by Matthew Lewis)

Photograph: A view of the Dutch cargo ship Eemslift Hendrik in the Norwegian Sea on Monday, April 5, 2021. The vessel issued an emergency signal after the cargo had moved. A rescue helicopter rescued several crew members. Photo credit: Rescue Helicopter Floro / HSS Sor-Norge / NTB via TBEN.

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