Norwegian authorities tow stray cargo ship to safety
Norwegian maritime authorities said late Wednesday that they had begun towing a Dutch cargo ship that was drifting dangerously towards the coast after the crew were forced to abandon it.
The 12-man crew of the "Eemslift Hendrika" was rescued Monday in a challenging two-stage operation after they issued a distress call while steaming from Bremerhaven in Germany to the Norwegian port of Kolvereid.
The cargo ship was carrying several smaller vessels, and began to list after high winds and huge waves displaced some of its cargo.
The "Eemslift Hendrika" also suffered an engine failure and started drifting towards the Norwegian coastline.
Eight of its crew members were airlifted by helicopter from the cargo ship's deck by Norwegian rescue services but the last four had to jump into
the water to be plucked from the sea.
Video images showed strong waves rocking the ship as it listed to the starboard (right) side.
Towing operations were due to have begun Thursday, but the ship deviated from its predicted trajectory and drifted even closer towards the coast,
prompting maritime authorities to rush into action.
"The tow is now attached," the Norwegian Coastal Administration(Kystverket) said on its website late Wednesday. "The risk of grounding has
On Thursday, the "Eemslift Hendrika" was being towed slowly towards the Norwegian port of Alesund and Kystverket said "no particular challenges" had been encountered overnight.