Dutch cargo ship adrift off Norway after dramatic rescue of crew

Helicopters rescue Norway cruise ship passengers amid storm

Norwegian coast guard officials said Tuesday the 12-member crew of a Dutch cargo ship that was adrift and in danger of capsizing in rough seas has been rescued off the coast of Norway. Crew members onboard the Eemslift Hendrika raised an alert in the North Sea on Monday, prompting the coast guard to launch a helicopter operation to evacuate the vessel.

Coast guard video shows rescuers airlifting the crew from the ship as it was battered by waves of up to 15 meters in height. Some of the crew members jumped into the sea late on Monday from the badly listing Eemslift Hendrika before being rescued by helicopter. Others were hoisted directly from the deck. All were brought to safety and the coast guard told Norwegian Public Radio that the 111-meter Netherlands-registered ship had lost power in its main engine and was now drifting toward land. The vessel is carrying smaller yachts. The wind is expected to gradually shift the vessel to a course parallel to the shore, giving the salvage operation more time, Hans Petter Mortensholm of the Norwegian Coastal Administration told.

If the vessel sinks, Norwegian authorities are concerned that diesel and fuel oil could spill from its tanks. Registered in the Netherlands, the Eemslift Hendrika was built in 2015.