Rescue team secures Dutch cargo ship drifting off Norway


Helsinki (AP) — Despite the rough seas, a joint Norwegian and Dutch rescue operation managed an abandoned Dutch freighter off the coast of Norway and towed it to the port on Thursday.

Norwegian officials said rescue operations for Eemslift Hendrika, a Dutch-registered vessel designed to carry large boats, were completed early Thursday and the vessel is slowly being towed into the western city of Alesund.

Twelve crew members of the ship were rescued by helicopter late Monday after a power outage of the main engine. The Norwegian Coastal Administration, based in Alesund, began rescue operations late Wednesday as it became clear that a drifting vessel could collide with the shore if the sea was agitated.

Ship tanks contain significant amounts of diesel and fuel, which can have caused environmental disasters. Norwegian maritime authorities issued an emergency alert late Wednesday and began preparing for an oil spill.

Eemslift Hendrika was drifting in the area where the North Sea meets the Norwegian Sea. Salvage experts were unloaded on a soaring vessel on Wednesday and attached a tow rope to a waiting tugboat.

A large boat on the deck of a 6-year-old cargo ship fell in rough seas on Tuesday, but was discovered by the Norwegian Coast Guard and secured on another tugboat.

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