ABANDONED DUTCH CARGO SHIP SECURED BY TUGBOATS OFF NORWAY
Rescue crews managed to board and secure an abandoned Dutch cargo ship adrift in rough waters off Norway early Thursday, and prepared for its being brought to safety, thus averting an oil spill.
Rescue teams managed to get on board the Eemslift Hendrika freighter and connect the ship with two tugboats, the Norwegian Coastal Administration said. It is now being towed to the Norwegian port of Alesund, Steffen Trumpf reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
"Salvage crews managed to get on board the drifting vessel Eemslift Hendrika and managed to connect it to the two tugboats," the Coastal Administration said in a statement. It was important to get the crippled vessel under control as rough seas increased the risks of that ship capsizing or hitting land.
The towing operation to bring the crippled vessel to shore from a position 10 nautical miles from the Norwegian coast had been originally postponed to Thursday due to the bad weather. Coastal officials said that had it been left unattended, the Eemslift Hendrika might have drifted ashore in eight hours.
Officials feared that the ship could sink and spill oil into the sea. It is carrying some 350 tons of heavy fuel oil and 50 tons of diesel. The tugs were chartered by the Dutch salvage company Smit Salvage. Smit Salvage is a subsidiary of the company Boskalis, which handled the salvage operation of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal.