During the night, the tugs BB Ocean and Normand Drott have arrived at the Eemslift Hendrika, reports the Norwegian Coast Guard. The ship has been adrift off the Norwegian coast since Monday evening 5 April. On Tuesday evening a team of Smit Salvage arrived in Norway and they will be flown out to the listing ship during the early afternoon.
The tugs are hired by the Dutch salvage company Smit Salvage. According to the plan, they will tow the ship ashore during Wednesday morning, but first people must be placed on board from a helicopter to attach the towing lines.
Update by the Norwegian Coast Guard (10.30 am): The helicopter that will transport the salvage personnel on board the Eemslift Hendrika has been in the area to inspect the situation. It is on its way back to Ålesund to pick up the crew. The plan is to hoist down the four people of the salvage team during the early afternoon.
The head of the salvage operation on behalf of the Norwegian Coast Guard, Hans-Petter Mortensholm thinks the situation will have ‘a positive ending’. According to him, the danger of the cargo ship capsizing and sinking is over. In addition, the ship is no longer drifting towards the coast, as it did on Tuesday, but is now drifting ‘parallel to the coastline’.
Tow to sheltered waters
According to the Coast Guard, once the ship is rigged for towing, they will try to get the Eemslift Hendrika into sheltered waters and anchor up. Then the ship must be stabilised before it is transported further.
The green workboat that fell from the Eemslift Hendrika’s deck is still afloat according to Mortensholm and he expects this boat to be salvaged as well.
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 Eemslift Hendrika was built in 2015, is 112 metres long and 17 metres wide.
Picture by the Norwegian Coast Guard.