The Norwegian Coastal Administration is working on salvaging the heavy lift vessel Eemslift Hendrika, which ran into trouble approximately 60 nautical miles west of Ålesund on Monday morning. The authority warns that there is still a risk that the ship may capsize and pose an environmental hazard.

Eemslift Hendrika havaristen

Photo credit: Hovedredningssentralen Sør-Norge

According to the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the ship, loaded with vessels, sent out an emergency message on Monday morning. Reports suggest that the cargoes onboard shifted in the rough seas causing the ship to list.

Norway’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center evacuated eight of the crew by its rescue helicopter Florø. Later in the evening, the remaining four crew members were hoisted up by SAR Tampen, having jumped into the sea.

On Tuesday April 6, the authority reported that one of the work boats that was loaded onboard Eemslift Hendrika had fallen off. It has since been located a few nautical miles away from the ship and a separate rescue party will be sent to it. According to the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the loss of the green work boat is believed to have had a positive effect on the stability of the Eemslift Hendrika and may help to avoid the ship capsizing.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration said that it remains in close dialogue with the shipping company about salvage.

Two tugs – BB Ocean and Normand Drott – have been chartered by the Dutch salvage company Smit Salvage to tow the Eemslift Hendrika ashore. Before that can happen, crew must be hoisted onboard from a helicopter to attach two rope. The Norwegian Coastal Administration said the plan is to hoist down four people in early afternoon.

It added that the weather has calmed down slightly, with waves now 6-8 m high. When the ship is rigged for towing, the salvage operation will attempt to get it into sheltered waters and anchor up. Then the ship must then be stabilised before it is transported further.

Updates from the Norwegian Coastal Administration can be found here.