Dutch nationals survive cargo ship tragedy
20 January 2004
AMSTERDAM — Three Dutch nationals were among the 12 survivors rescued after cargo ship Rocknes mysteriously capsized in a narrow fjord off the Norwegian coast on Monday.
Up to 18 crew members are believed to have died when the ship suddenly capsized in calm waters at about 4.30pm on Monday.
The cause of the tragedy is not yet known and the Norwegian authorities have launched an investigation.
The Antigua-registered ship was believed to have been in good technical condition, having undergone a recent inspection by harbour authorities at the Norwegian town of Bergen.
Three Dutch employees of a Gorinchem-based company Van Oord were carrying out maintenance work on board the freight ship. A company spokesman said the three workers were suffering from cold, but were otherwise in good health.
But a spokesman with Dutch salvage company Smit — which is working to stabilise the wreck — said rescue authorities have given up hope of finding further survivors.
“The ship is completely filled with ice-cold water. We are concentrating on the salvage. It is too risky to let divers search,” the spokesman said.
Rescuers pulled 12 people to safety on Monday and recovered the bodies of two of the ship’s 30 crew. The body of a third crew member was found 6km away from the shipwreck on Tuesday.
A total of 15 people are still missing, believed to be trapped inside the ship’s hull. Most of the crew were Filipinos and besides the three Dutchmen, two Norwegians and a German were also on board, BBC reported.
The bulk carrier of the Norwegian shipping company Jebsens was loaded with heavy rocks bound for Emden in northern Germany when it capsized off the western island of island of Bjoroey. The ship loaded in the Norwegian port of Eikefet.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news