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Norway ship detects Malaysia flight ‘signal’

The Norwegian-built Ocean Shield defence vessel detected thee identical signals in the Indian Ocean consistent with transmissions from the black box flight recorder on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

Norway ship detects Malaysia flight 'signal'
Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield. Photo: Hpeterswald/Wikimedia Commons
Ocean Shield, built two years ago at the Vard Soviknes shipyard in Sunnmøre under the name 'Skandi Bergen', is now a defence vessel working for the Australian navy.  
 
The ship has been dragging a "pinger locator" around a search area  some 2,000 nautical miles west of Perth, Australia, as part of the efforts to find the missing flight MH370. 
 
"Today I can report some very encouraging information which has unfolded over the last 24 hours. The towed pinger locator deployed from the Australian vessel Ocean Shield has detected signals,” Angus Houston, the head of the Australian joint agency co-ordination centre, announced on Monday. 
 
"Significantly this would be consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.”
 
The first time the signal was detected, the ship tracked it for two hours and 20 minutes, before losing contact. The second interception lasted 13 minutes. 
 
Hege Akselvoll, a spokesman for Vard, which was bought by Italy's Fincantieri last year, said that staff at the yard were ecstatic at the role played by their ship. 
 
"We are following the media about the ship here in the shipyard, and we are thrilled that it is very much Norwegian designed and manufactured equipment on Ocean Shield," he told Norway's Dagbladet newspaper. 
 
On Sunday, a Chinese patrol ship, Haixun 01, detected a pulse, briefly picking it up again 24 hours later, after which Ocean Shield detected a pulse 300 nautical miles from the the Chinese vessel.
 
The search effort currently involves no fewer than nine military planes, three civilian planes and 14 ships.  
 
Another Norwegian ship, the St Petersburg, owned by Höegh Autoliners, was the first ship to make it to the search area on March 20th. 

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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.

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