Dramatic last-ditch effort to save Eemslift Hendrika

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Image: NCA.
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Norwegian Coastal Authority succeeds in attaching a tow to the drifting heavylift ship, Eemslift Hendrika.

A Norwegian government salvage team has been successful in taking the abandoned heavylift ship, Eemslift Hendrika, in tow. The vessel will now be taken to Ålesund, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) has confirmed.

The team boarded the abandoned vessel by helicopter Wednesday evening, in an effort to stop the vessel grounding on the environmentally sensitive west coast of Norway.

Officials said the ship was within hours of hitting the rugged shoreline and shore teams were mobilised to combat any possible oil spill from the vessel. An earlier attempt to board the Eemslift had been called off due to heavy weather.

“Conditions have changed during the afternoon and evening, and we are concerned that the vessel does not follow the runway on which the original plan was based,” said NCA emergency director, Hans-Petter Mortensholm.

“We are therefore taking government action now, so that we have the opportunity to tow the casualty. At the same time, we are preparing for a worst-case scenario where we get a grounding”.

Dutch firm Smit Salvage had been commissioned to salvage the Eemslift and sent two tugs to the scene, BB Ocean and Normand Drot, but the company’s team had been unable to safely board the heavily listing and destabilised vessel.

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