Norwegians working to salvage troubled Eemslift Hendrika

The Dutch-flagged cargo ship Eemslift Hendrika, which was abandoned yesterday after listing in rough seas, is still in danger of capsizing and poses an environmental hazard, according to the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

Eemslift Hendrika; Image credit: Norwegian Coast Guard

It remains drifting, around 40-50 nautical miles west of Ålesund.

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The cargo ship was battling waves of up to 18 meters, and 18-20 m/s wind yesterday.

This made it impossible for the Norwegian Coast Guard to do anything other than observe.

“The boat that was placed in the middle of the deck has broken loose and is a few nautical miles from the cargo ship. This is believed to have had a positive effect on the stability of the Eemslift Hendrika, and may help to avoid capsizing,” the coastal administration said.

The coastal administration added it was is in close contact with the shipping company Amasus Support BV. in the Netherlands regarding the ship’s status.

“The Norwegian Coastal Administration is following the situation closely, and is mapping resources for a possible helicopter lift of crew to the ship. Furthermore, the Norwegian Coastal Administration maps resources, both vessels and trained people for a possible oil spill response operation if the vessel should hit land and ground,” the administration added.

However, as explained, it is likely that a tow would be connected before that happens. In that case, the Norwegian Coastal Administration plans to escort the tow with KV Sortland, and put its own pilots on board the tugs whenever possible.

Last night, the Norwegian authorities deployed two tugboats to the scene, in order to try to establish a tow line today and bring the vessel to the shore. The tugboats, BB Ocean and Normand Drott, reached the distressed cargo ship early this morning.

Efforts are underway to bring salvage personnel and hoist them on board the distressed vessel to try to attach the tow line.

It is planned to hoist 4 people this afternoon.

As informed, the weather has improved, with waves reaching around 8 meters and slower winds.