Crew of drifting Dutch cargo ship carrying oil, rescuedWorld | 7 Apr 2021 8:26 am
Emergency response teams scrambled on Tuesday to prevent a Dutch cargo ship adrift in the North Sea from sinking and causing an oil spill off Norway’s coast after the crew had to be evacuated in stormy weather, Reuters reports.
Footage released by the Norwegian Rescue Coordination Centre showed some of the 12 crew members jumping into the sea late on Monday from the badly listing Eemslift Hendrika before being rescued by helicopter. Others were hoisted directly from the deck.
All were brought to safety, but the ship has continued to drift towards land. It is currently some 74 km (40 miles) off the Norwegian coast.
The wind is expected to gradually shift the vessel to a course parallel to the shore, giving the salvage operation more time, Hans Petter Mortensholm of the Norwegian Coastal Administration told Reuters.
“Our calculations now indicate a window of opportunity to act, lasting until just after midday on Wednesday,” he said. “The risk of pollution is our main concern.”
The Hendrika has around 350 tons of heavy oil and 50 tons of diesel in its tanks, the Coastal Administration said.
Smit Salvage, a subsidiary of the Dutch marine services company Boskalis, told Reuters it had been contracted to try saving the ship and was mobilising a team to send to Norway later on Tuesday.