The Dutch cargo ship "Eemslift Hendrika" is drifting ownerless through the North Sea and is already losing cargo.
If it capsizes completely, an environmental catastrophe threatens Norway.
Ålesund - A cargo ship has been drifting off the coast of Norway for days - ownerless, without propulsion, with 15 meter high waves, with a heavy list and with around 350 tons of heavy fuel oil and 50 tons of diesel on board.
Because the "Eemslift Hendrika" in distress is in danger of overturning, the Norwegian Coastal Administration raised the alarm yesterday, Tuesday: An environmental disaster is feared.
The Dutch cargo ship was listed on Easter Monday in bad weather, strong winds and massive waves because parts of the cargo had shifted.
Around 111 kilometers west of Ålesund, the crew of twelve traveling from Bremerhaven to Kolvereid in Norway therefore sent an emergency signal.
Abandoned freighter off Norway: four crew members jumped into the sea
The crew members were taken from the 112-meter-long freighter by helicopter.
According to the
AFP news agency
four crew members saved themselves
into the sea because the waves made the ship rock hard.
A video of the rescue workers shows the dramatic scenes of the rescue from the European Arctic Ocean.
According to the coast administration, the heavily loaded and abandoned freighter initially ran in autopilot mode on Monday.
Late on Monday evening, the engine of the "Eemslift Hendrika" failed.
Since then, the freighter from the Netherlands has been rocking violently off Norway's west coast - and is already losing cargo.
First helicopter shots had shown a green boat in the middle of the deck of the abandoned freighter.
Meanwhile, a coast guard ship arrived at the "Eemslift Hendrika".
Authorities reported that the workboat had disappeared from the heavily rocking cargo ship.
According to the Norwegian newspaper
, the boat was worth around 6.6 million euros.
Freighter off Norway: environmental catastrophe threatens - first cargo overboard
The coast guard tried to stabilize the heavily loaded freighter so that it would not sink and oil would not get into the sea.
On Tuesday morning, the "Eemslift Hendrika" drove around 130 kilometers northwest of the port city of Alesund.
At the current wind speed, it should reach the coast in about a day and a half, estimates the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
The workboat that slipped into the water had reduced the list of the "Eemslift Hendrika", the authorities said.
"The situation seems to be more stable, but there is still a risk that it could capsize," said Hans-Petter Mortensholm from the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
They want to send someone on board to organize a towing operation as soon as weather conditions allow, Mortensholm continues.
List of rubric lists: © Redningshelikopter Florø / Hoved