Dutch freighter in danger of capsizing with 438 m3 of oil on board

Aslak Berge

Drama continues on Tuesday.

The Dutch cargo ship “Eemslift Hendrika” is sailing without a crew, in the sea northwest of Ålesund, Western Norway. The crew evacuated the ship on Monday night.

Rescue manager Kjetil Hagen told the Norwegian broadcaster NRK that they were afraid it was close to tilting. “If that happens, it is difficult to say, but the captain’s assessment is that they had to leave the vessel,” he said.

Jarl Magne Silden is the skipper of the longliner “Veststeinen”. They were on standby at the abandoned cargo ship and waited for clarification from the Norwegian Coastal Administration if they were to leave the site. Last night, they got the go-ahead to leave the ship.

15-18m waves
“We left the “Eemslift Hendrika”. Fortunately, the people are safely ashore. We’ve had a windy voyage right against the storm, for 70 knots. The ship was standby when the four last men of the crew were picked up. The boat is now drifting on the side of the watch. With 45-50 degrees of listing. There are now NNW 25 degrees easterly, snow showers and 15-18 m waves. We have the helicopter coverage we have, only our representatives had to understand it and increase emergency preparedness considerably, especially in the Barents Sea. Luckily, the crew went well this time, there are plenty of vessels,” Silden wrote on Facebook.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration has asked the Dutch shipping company for a plan for how the ship will be handled further.

“It is not a situation that can last endlessly. We ask for a plan and want things to happen as soon as possible,” emergency response director Hans Petter Mortensholm of the Norwegian Coastal Administration told the Norwegian News Agency NTB.

The Coast Guard ship “Sortland” is on its way from Bergen to the site. The Coast Guard ship will be on-site to observe. The Norwegian Coastal Administration is also sending a plane out to the area.

“We are primarily concerned that the ship can not be a danger to other ships and rigs,” said Mortensholm – adding they were observing any signs that it may tilt, sink or leak.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration told NTB that there are 353 m3 of crude oil, 75 m3 of diesel and 10 m3 of lubricating oil on board the ship.

On the cargo deck of “Eemslift Hendrika” is, among other things, three salmon farm vessels worth over EUR 10 million.


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