Video -- General

Crew Evacuated off Freighter in the North Sea

Emergency response teams scrambled on April 5 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, according to Reuters.

Norwegian Rescue

Dramatic Rescue

Footage released by the Norwegian Rescue Coordination Centre showed some of the 12 crewmembers jumping into the sea late 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. At the last report, it was approximately 40 miles (74 km) off the Norwegian coast.

Salvage Attempt

The wind is expected to gradually shift the vessel to a course parallel to the shore, giving the salvage operation more time, according to a statement from the Norwegian Coastal Administration told Reuters. The agency reportedly calculated a window of opportunity to try to get a tow line on the vessel on Wednesday.

Norwegian Rescue

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, was contracted to try saving the ship and was mobilizing a team to send to Norway later on Tuesday.

Safety permitting, Smit would seek to get its own crew on board the Hendrika and link the vessel to a tugboat built to move rigs for the oil industry.

A Norwegian coastguard vessel is on standby in the area and could also be used for towing purposes, the Coastal Administration said.

Built in 2015 and registered in the Netherlands, the 366’ (111.6 m) Eemslift Hendrika is a yacht transport vessel that carries smaller vessels on its deck, according to Monaco-based Starclass Yacht Transport, which markets the ship’s services.

One of the smaller vessels strapped to the deck fell off in the storm, the Coastal Administration said.