Norway ship takes third Syria weapons cargo

The Norwegian cargo ship Taiko left the port of Latakia on Monday carrying the third cargo of chemical weapons material to leave Syria, the global chemical weapons watchdog said in a statement.

Norway ship takes third Syria weapons cargo
KNM Helge Ingstad, the Nowegian frigate which has been accompanying cargos of chemical weapons from Syria. Photo: Bjørnar Henningsen
“A third shipment of chemical weapons material took place from the Syrian Arab Republic today," the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said. 
“The joint mission confirms that in-country destruction of some chemical materials has taken place alongside the removal of chemical weapons material, and welcomes progress to date.” 
Taiko was escorted by the Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad, as well as ships from Denmark, Russia and China. 
“Warships from four states are accompanying the Taiko special cargo vessel in their respective sectors,” Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement. 
The most dangerous material is scheduled to be destroyed at sea by April, while the rest of Syria's chemical arsenal is slated to be destroyed by June 30th. 

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Watch: Norwegian rescue services evacuate crew from ship adrift at sea

A Dutch cargo ship was adrift in the Norwegian Sea on Tuesday after it was evacuated in dramatic fashion in rough seas, Norway's maritime authorities said.

Watch: Norwegian rescue services evacuate crew from ship adrift at sea
JRRC South Norway / AFP

The “Eemslift Hendrika” made a distress call Monday, reporting a heavy list after stormy weather displaced some of its cargo. 

The 12 crew members were evacuated in two stages later the same day by Norwegian rescue services: the first eight were airlifted from the deck of the cargo ship while the last four had to jump into the water.

Footage from the Norwegian authorities shows a man in an orange survival suit throwing himself into the rough sea off the stern of the ship.
The ship also suffered an engine failure and then began drifting towards to the Norwegian coastline.

On Tuesday morning it was about 130 kilometres (80 miles) northwest of the port city of Ålesund.

“The ship is drifting with a large list (between 40 and 50 degrees), so there is a risk that it will capsize,” Hans-Petter Mortensholm, head of the Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket) told AFP.

“Our main priority is to try to stabilise it so that it does not sink, and so that it does not leak fuel oil into the sea,” he added.
The cargo ship contains 350 cubic metres of heavy fuel oil, 75 cubic metres of diesel and 10m3 of lubricating oil.

A Norwegian Coast Guard vessel was en route to the ship on Tuesday morning.

The operator of the vessel has also called in the Dutch company Smit Salvage, which was involved in the refloating of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal last week.

Weather conditions were “extremely bad” with waves of 10 to 15 metres, complicating the situation but a lull was expected in the afternoon, according to Kystverket.