Although the weather was not optimal, the salvage crew chose to start towing the troubled cargo ship last night.
At 05:25 on Thursday morning, “Eemslift Hendrika” is being towed to the northeast, just outside Fosnavåg, Western Norway.
“We are in control of the vessel,” Hans-Petter Mortensholm, emergency response director at the Norwegian Coastal Administration told the publication VG last night.
On Wednesday evening, the rescue crew of four people from the Dutch firm Smit Salvage approached from a helicopter to secure the ship. “Eemslift Hendrika” then drifted directly towards Stadlandet, Western Norway, at a speed of 1.5 knots.
Then action was launched due to fears that the vessel would drift ashore during the night. The wave height was between three and four metres, which was demanding and not optimal.
When the vessel was secured, there were four to five hours left until the ship would have hit land.
Onboard the ship there are 305 m3 of crude oil, 70 m3 diesel and 10 m3 of lubricating oil.
“We probably had between four and five hours of drifting time to go on,” Mortensholm told the news site Bergens Tidende.
“If it grounded, with subsequent large oil spills, Runde (island .ed) would have been in the middle of the spill. And it would have happened in the middle of the most vulnerable time, heading into the breeding period for the bird population there,” he said.
Slepet er nå fast i baugen på #EemsliftHendrika og slepefartøyet Normand Drott begynner forsiktig å dreie havaristen rundt. 👊👍
Planen er å slepe fartøyet inn Breisundet utenfor Ålesund for videre inspeksjon. (foto: @kystvakten / KV Bergen) pic.twitter.com/oblPZFgfbc
— Kystverket (@Kystverket) April 7, 2021
The cargo ship will now be towed to Breisundet, close to the town Ålesund. The four rescuers are still on board.
The salvage company Smit Salvage also recently participated in the operation where the container ship “Ever Given” was stuck in the Suez Canal.