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Stranded Sailors Jump Into Massive Waves During Rescue Airlift

BoatlopnikBecause boats are cars too

Twelve sailors onboard the Eemslift Hendrika had to be rescued by the Norwegian Coast Guard earlier this week, and the dramatic moment was captured on video. Unfortunately for some crew, weather conditions were so bad the air rescue team couldn’t lift them from the ship — so the sailors had to leap from their uncontrolled vessel into massive waves for a chance to be saved.

Here’s a clip of the dramatic rescue effort from an area between the North and Norwegian Seas on Monday, via the The Guardian:

The Eemslift Hendrika is a 366-foot long Norwegian-registered cargo ship that’s been floating around for six years now. This time it was carrying, funnily enough, smaller boats and yachts when it first sent out a distress call on Monday that it was at risk of capsizing. The ship lost power in a dramatic sea, bouncing uncontrolled among waves reportedly measuring 15 meters, or about 49 feet in height, according to Euronews.

The Norwegian Coast Guard decided to airlift the crew from the deck of the ship on Tuesday, but only managed to get a few crew members before the ship was no longer considered a safe platform for the aircraft to operate above. The video shows how the remaining ship crew managed to jump from the stern of the ship into the huge waves, where the air crew was able to drop into the water by wire and finally pick them up.

One of the yachts stored as cargo onboard the ship reportedly broke free in the storm of the waves on Tuesday. (A likely story from anyone trying to ditch one broken boat for another that may work and happens to just be conveniently onboard, a genius Batman-level attempt at saving oneself in this situation, but who’s to say.) It was rediscovered by the coast guard and lassoed by a tug boat later that day.

At the end of the successful rescue operation on Tuesday, Norwegian Coastal Administration officials determined that the ship was headed uncontrolled toward the coast. The Eemslift Hendrika is withholding much of its original fuel but listing at an alarming angle, so an emergency alert for increased risk of an oil spill was issued for the the North and Norwegian seas on Wednesday.

Later that day, the Coastal Administration launched a successful salvage operation by dropping a team of divers onto the boat to attach ropes, and it was on its way being towed to the port of Alesund, Norway by early Thursday morning, AP reports.

I understand the plight of the Eemslift Hendrika’s main engine giving out. Fighting waves like that, I’d give up and have Norway come get me, too. Free helicopter ride! It’s free, right? It’s Europe.


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