Norwegian Coast Guard vessel Sortland is now at the Eemslift Hendrika, which has been adrift since Monday evening. A surveillance aircraft has also shot new footage of the ship showing that the work boat that was on deck has indeed fallen off. The risk of the ship capsizing is still present, but has decreased somewhat, according to the Coast Guard.
On Monday, the ship got into difficulties due to shifting cargo, which caused it to list in a stormy sea with waves several metres high. The crew was taken off board by helicopter. The Eemslift Hendrika, owned by the shipping company Amasus Shipping in Delfzijl, the Netherlands was en route from Bremerhaven in Germany to the Norwegian port of Kolvereid.
The head of the salvage operation on behalf of the Norwegian Coast Guard, Hans-Petter Mortensholm, has told Norwegian news channel NRK that that the ‘goal is to get a tow on board the vessel as soon as possible. KV Sortland is part of the towing contingency and they have equipment. The challenge is that one must put personnel on board the listing ship. Because the waves are so high, personnel will probably have to fly there.’
‘We have to find out when the weather is good enough for such an operation,’ says Mortensholm. ‘The vessel lies with a thirty- to forty-degree list and there is still a risk that the ship will capsize, even if the danger is less than it was.’
The workboat that has fallen from the ship is reportedly still afloat some two kilometres from the Eemslift Hendrika. However, due to the oil on board the larger vessel, priority is being given to this ship. The Eemslift Hendrika has approximately 350 tonnes of heavy oil and 50 tonnes of diesel on board.
Smit Salvage en route
The co-owner of the ship, Amasus Shipping from Delfzijl has hired Smit Salvage to salvage the vessel. In addition to a team being flown in, the company will also send a tugboat to the site. According to NRK, Smit has contracted
tugboat BB Ocean of Bukser og Berging for this task. The ship will leave from Kristiansund soon. NRK states towing lines were put out aft of the Eemslift Hendrika before the crew left and the tugboat hopes to be able to use these.
The videos shot by the Norwegian Coast Guard’s surveillance aircraft: