A joint Norwegian-Dutch salvage operation has managed to safely tow to land an abandoned Dutch cargo ship that had been adrift off the coast of Norway.
The Eemslift Hendrika, a Netherlands-registered ship designed to carry large boats, securely docked in port late in the afternoon in the western city of Alesund.
“It’s a happy ending to an event. We are always happy when things go well, so it’s a good feeling,” said Captain Sverre Aas from the Norwegian Coast Guard, as quoted by the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.
The ship’s crew of 12 was rescued by helicopter late on Monday after a power outage in its main engine. The Norwegian Coastal Administration, based in Alesund, launched a salvage operation late on Wednesday as it became clear that churning seas could make the drifting ship crash into the shore.
The vessel has substantial quantities of diesel and fuel in its tanks, which could have caused an environmental disaster. Norwegian maritime authorities issued an emergency alert late on Wednesday and started preparations in case of an oil spill.
The Eemslift Hendrika was adrift in the area where the North Sea and Norwegian Sea meet. Salvage experts were lowered onto the sharply listing ship on Wednesday to attach towing ropes to waiting tug boats.
One large boat aboard the deck of the six-year-old cargo ship fell off in heavy seas on Tuesday but was found by the Norwegian Coast Guard and secured to another tug boat.