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21 Norwegians saved after shipwreck

Norwegian Sea Scouts had to jump overboard when the Sea Scout ship «Mohawk II» collided with a fishing boat and sank in the English Channel Sunday night.

«They are doing fine,» said Trond-Marius Melsom, chairman at Oslo KFUM Sjøkorps to Norwegian News Bureau (NTB) Monday morning. «No one was hurt. It was probably dramatic, but everyone is doing fine.»

Jumped overboard
About half of the 21 onboard were Sea Scouts between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. Three or four of the crew were boatswains between the ages of 17 and 19 years old, while the rest of the crew were adults, mates and one skipper.

«Mohawk II was hit on the port side by a Dutch fishing boat,» Melsom said. «The ship sank in the matter for two or three minutes. Some of them got into the life rafts, while others had to jump overboard before they were pulled into the life rafts.»

The Sea Scouts are from Oslo and Lørenskog.

According to rescue coordination center (RCC) in southern Norway, the ship was not far from shore when the accident occurred, and the Dutch rescue service responded quickly. The Norwegians were picked up and taken to the city of Vlissingen.

6 meters depth
The 100-year-old S/Y «Mohawk II» was on its jubilee trip. The ship is now located at 6 meters depth in the channel, and the extent of the damage is not known. An accident of this magnitude has never hit the Sea Scout group from Oslo before.

«The ship will be moved and saved, but we just have to play it by ear,» Melson said.

The passengers and crew of «Mohawk II» are in Vlissingen, which is located at the seaward approach to Antwerp. The date for their return to Norway has not yet been determined.

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