Crew evacuated due to risk of Dutch cargo ship sinking from Norway

Helsinki — An unmanned Dutch cargo ship may be at risk of overturning in the rough waters off Norway after the crew has been evacuated in response to a distress signal from the vessel.

The Norwegian Coast Guard said Tuesday that it had dispatched a Coast Guard to inspect the situation of Eemslift Hendrika, which is listed on the Norwegian Sea 80 miles from the city of Aresund and is floating without an engine.

A video of the scene shows the Norwegian Rescue Coordination Center evacuating by helicopter after some of the ship’s 12 crew members jumped into the sea. The ship signaled a distress signal late Monday.

Maritime officials said the current focus is to find a way to secure the vessel so that it does not sink while trying to ensure that the vessel does not collide with the shore. Observers were patrolling the area.

“We are optimistic, but at the same time we have high waves and strong winds of 15 meters (49 feet). The weather conditions are extreme and personnel safety is always a top priority,” said Hannes, Emergency Director of the Norwegian Coastal Administration. Petter Mortensholm told the VG newspaper.

Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said the ship lost power to its main engine late Monday night. Norwegian authorities are concerned that diesel and fuel oils could spill out of tanks if the vessel sank.

Registered in the Netherlands, Eemslift Hendrika was built in 2015. I didn’t know the cargo right away.