Dutch cargo ship adrift off Norway

Oslo, Norway: A Dutch cargo ship was adrift in the Norwegian Sea on Tuesday after it was evacuated in dramatic fashion in rough seas, Norway's maritime authorities said.

The "Eemslift Hendrika" made a distress call Monday, reporting a heavy list after stormy weather displaced some of its cargo.

The 12 crew members were evacuated in two stages later the same day by Norwegian rescue services: the first eight were airlifted from the deck of the cargo ship while the last four had to jump into the water.

Footage from the Norwegian authorities shows a man in an orange survival suit throwing himself into the rough sea off the stern of the ship.

The ship also suffered an engine failure and then began drifting towards the Norwegian coastline.

On Tuesday morning it was about 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of the port city of Alesund.

"The ship is drifting with a large list (between 40 and 50 degrees), so there is a risk that it will capsize," Hans-Petter Mortensholm, head of the Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket) told AFP.

"Our main priority is to try to stabilize it so that it does not sink, and so that it does not leak fuel oil into the sea," he added.

The cargo ship contains 350 cubic meters of heavy fuel oil, 75 cubic meters of diesel, and 10m3 of lubricating oil.

A Norwegian Coast Guard vessel was en route to the ship on Tuesday morning.

The operator of the vessel has also called in the Dutch company Smit Salvage, which was involved in the refloating of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal last week.

Weather conditions were "extremely bad" with waves of 10 to 15 meters, complicating the situation but a lull was expected in the afternoon, according to Kystverket.

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