Norwegian cargo ship sank off Skåne

The ship went down at 1.30 on Friday night, duty officer Allan Mortensen at the Armed Forces’ Operations Center in Denmark informs Ritzau.

Five Norwegians were picked up from the ship by helicopter on Thursday and flown to Sweden, the Danish defense has stated on Twitter.

– The Norwegian Maritime Administration’s helicopter is there and picks up people. It is in the middle of the strait, said Fredrik Strömbäck, spokesman for the Swedish Maritime Administration, to Sydsvenskan on Thursday.

He informed NTB that it was FS Bjugnfjord, a 65 meter long cargo vessel.

Officer on duty at the Armed Forces’ Operations Center in Denmark, Allan Mortensen, stated that a Danish and two Swedish helicopters have been deployed, and the frigate Niels Juel is also on its way.

No serious injuries

The alarm went off just before 8 pm, and the vessel had five on board. By 10.30 pm, they were all rescued by the ship, according to Strömbäck.

– This has happened in Danish waters, but we participate by helicopter and have another on standby. Five people have been winched up, said Daniel Ståleby, assistant rescue leader at the Swedish sea and air rescue center to Aftonbladet.

Two were hoisted up from the vessel and three from a lifeboat, according to Ståleby.

According to Emma Nykvist, who is the assistant rescue leader, no one has been seriously injured.

“As far as we know, they are fine, and are in good condition,” she told Sydsvenskan.

Bad weather

Strömbäck said on Thursday that there was a north wind of around 12 meters per second in the area.

– It is of course tough conditions, but the crews are trained for it, he said.

To Ritzau, Mortensen from the Armed Forces’ Operations Center said that on Thursday night it had not been possible to get the crew from the ship to speak to get clarity on what happened. It will probably happen on Friday, according to him.

The reason why the ship overturned seems to be that the cargo has overturned or moved.

“It has been very bad weather, with strong winds and waves, which has caused the load to shift,” Nykvist told Sydsvenskan.

Surveys Friday

The Danish frigate, together with a ship from the Swedish Coast Guard, kept an eye on the ship through the night, to see if anything should leak out, and to make sure that no one else sailed past the ship.

Mortensen says on Friday morning that all ships are advised to stay away from the area, to avoid that they sail past the wreck. He said earlier that there was a significant risk that the ship would sink, and that therefore no attempt was made to tow it.

The environmental ship Mette Miljø is on its way from Frederikshavn and is expected to arrive when it gets light on Friday. The ship is loaded with contaminated soil, and was on its way from Copenhagen to Randers.

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