07 APRIL 2021
The Norwegian Coastal Authority is continuing to monitor the situation with the abandon Dutch heavy-lift vessel adrift in a storm off the coast of Norway. While the situation may have improved, they continued to warn that the ship is in danger of capsizing and causing an environmental hazard.
The Eemslift Hendrika is caught approximately 40 to 50 nautical miles west of Alesund, Norway in a storm with gale force winds with sustained speeds above 40 mph and seas running at 15 to 18 meters. The vessel is drifting towards shore, but the authorities believe that the weather will hold it offshore and expressed little concern for a grounding.
The Norwegian Coastal Authority released dramatic video shot from their helicopters showing the current situation and views of the rescue of the crew from the ship.
Yesterday, April 5, the high seas caused some of the cargo aboard the vessel to shift. The captain issued a distress call and the Norwegian authorities air lifted the majority of the crew to safety while the captain and three crew members remained aboard attempting to manage the situation. The vessel reportedly lost power later in the day causing the captain and remaining crew to abandon the ship.
The Norwegian Coastal Authority reports that the seas remain too high for its teams forcing them to remain at a distance and observe. Overnight, the largest workboat loaded on the deck of the Eemslift Hendrika fell overboard. It has been located a few nautical miles away. Norwegian authorities also reported that losing the cargo from the deck may have had a positive effect on the stability of the Eemslift Hendrika and might help to avoid the vessel capsizing.
The ship’s owners have been working with the Norwegian Coastal Authority and have hired Smit to attempt a salvage of the vessel. Boskalis has dispatched two tugboats, which will depart from Bergen and Kristiansund, Norway tonight. They are expected to reach the abandon vessel early Wednesday morning and if weather and wind conditions allow a crew will board the ship and attempt to attach a towline.
The Norwegian Coast Guard also has a vessel monitoring the situation, and they plan to escort the tow to shore. They are also available to provide assistance as required and are prepared to respond if an oil spill were to occur.