Abandoned Ship Secured After Drifting Off Norway

Norwegian coast guard and Dutch salvage officials said Thursday they have secured a Dutch cargo ship that has been drifting off the coast of Norway for three days and are towing it.  
The Norwegian coast guard Monday used a helicopter to rescue the 12-member crew from the Eemslift Hendrika, which had lost power and was in danger of capsizing in heavy seas in the Norwegian Sea. Since then, the ship had been powerless.  
In a statement on its website, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) said as of Wednesday, it believed the ship was in little danger of approaching land and had planned to wait until Thursday to attempt to secure it.   
But the NCA said sea conditions changed later Wednesday, increasing the danger the ship could be forced inland and ground itself, raising the risk of a fuel spill. Officials launched an operation, employing two tugboats and using a helicopter to place members of a Dutch salvage crew and a coast guard rescuer on the ship.  
Despite heavy seas, the NCA said it was able to connect the ship to the tugs at the bow and stern by early Thursday and were expecting to bring the boat into the western Norwegian port of Alesund later in the day. Officials in the port told Norwegian public radio they had left a slip open for the ship all week, expecting it would eventually be brought in.  
The Dutch-licensed vessel transports small yachts and sailboats. One of the ships broke loose from the ship Wednesday but was later retrieved by the coast guard.