The ship adrift in the North Sea was towed: “Disaster risk averted”

After releasing the “plug” of the Suez Canal, freeing the Evergreen, for the Dutch company Boskalis it was another day of glory: it is thanks to its tugboat that the risk of an environmental disaster was avoided North Sea, where a (also Dutch) cargo ship, the Eemslift Hendrika, remained adrift for about three days due to an engine failure.

The ship, which carried sailing boats and fishing boats, was in danger of capsizing with all its cargo, in particular the more than 400 cubic meters of fuel. But fortunately, despite the stormy sea complicating the operations, the cargo was “hooked” by Boskalis specialists. “We managed to establish a link between the ship and a tugboat. The immediate danger has passed”, he said to the newspaper Nos a spokesperson for the collection company. “Now we are at a safe distance from the shore and in the morning we will see where we can moor,” he added.

Set sail from Bremerhaven in Germany and bound for Kveriid (Norway), the Eemslift Hendrika had an engine failure between Easter and Easter Monday while on the open sea. His crew was saved almost 2 days after sending the first SOS thanks to the intervention of the Norwegian Coast Guard: a risky and spectacular operation, given the bad weather conditions, with waves between 6 and 8 meters high. The intervention required two phases: 8 crew members were picked up from the deck by a helicopter while the other four were forced to jump into the water. Media images showed a crew member in an orange overalls throwing himself from the stern into the stormy sea.

During the drift, the ship had tilted to one side and lost one of the fishing boats and other parts of the cargo. A “happy accident”, since it could have been this lightening that prevented the cargo from overturning. It is a real environmental disaster.


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