Emergency response teams scrambled last night to prevent a Dutch cargo ship adrift in the North Sea from sinking and causing an oil spill off Norway’s coast after the crew had to be evacuated in stormy weather.
Footage released by the Norwegian Rescue Coordination Centre showed some of the 12 crew members jumping into the sea late on Monday from the badly listing Eemslift Hendrika before being rescued by helicopter. Others were hoisted directly from the deck, according to Reuters.
All were reportedly brought to safety, but the ship has continued to drift towards land. It is currently some 40 miles off the Norwegian coast.
The wind is expected to gradually shift the vessel to a course parallel to the shore, giving the salvage operation more time, Hans Petter Mortensholm of the Norwegian Coastal Administration told Reuters.
“Our calculations now indicate a window of opportunity to act, lasting until just after midday on Wednesday,” he reportedly said. “The risk of pollution is our main concern.”
The Hendrika has around 350 tonnes of heavy oil and 50 tonnes of diesel in its tanks, the Coastal Administration said.