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Cargo ship overturned, 20 missing

Sist oppdatert:
The emergency personnel are trying to establish contact with survivors on the overturned cargo boat ”Rocknes” by knocking Morse code on hull with a wrench.

Two have been found deceased, while 19 are still missing after the cargo boat ”Rocknes” overturned at approximately 4:30 p.m. at Vatlestraumen in Hordaland, on the western coast of Norway.

There were a crew of 29 people on board the ship; 23 Philippines, three Dutch, two Norwegians and one German.

According to eyewitnesses, the 166-meter long cargo boat overturned in the matter of seconds, and it is now lying with its keel upwards. The police and the fire department in Bergen have decreased a full catastrophe alarm.

“There are survivors inside the hull,” said Sturla Dyregrov, a TV 2 reporter. “We heard desperate screams for help from within.”

Dyregrov stated that emergency personnel are trying to send Morse messages to the trapped crew by hitting a wrench on the hull of the boat.

A specialty crew has been brought in and has now started to cut the hull in order to save the survivors who are trapped inside. The shipping company has arrived on the scene with drawings of the boat to insure that it does not sink during the rescue work.

Eight saved, two dead
According to Haukeland hospital in Bergen, ten persons were admitted to the emergency at 7:30 p.m. Two of them were deceased, and the remaining eight had only received minor injuries.

That means, in other words, 19 people are still unaccounted for.

The emergency personnel do not know how many of the missing that is still trapped inside the boat and how many are in the water.

Just after 7 p.m., the police ordered all the boats in the area to look for people in the water.

Boat was close to rocks
The boat was drifting, and it is now about 2 kilometers from the area that it overturned. At 7:30 p.m. the boat had stopped drifting, and it was caught on some rocks just off shore. Several larger ships with cranes are assisting with keeping it still.

”Eyewitnesses have told me that the ship was close to a rock before it overturned, and they observed a gash in the side of the ship,” Dyregrov said at the TV 2 News cast. He is currently at Vatlestraumen outside Bjorøy, a very trafficked fairway.

Reason for the accident unknown
There are several helicopters and rescue boats at the accident scene; it is clear skies and calm.

There is oil in the water and a strong smell of diesel in the area. The reason for the accident is not known.

“All we know is that the boat overturned,” said Hans Christensen, assisting rescue leader.

Navy assisting
Royal Norwegian Navy is assisting in the rescue work with several boats, informed Gunnar Vetlejord, press officer at Haakonsvern Orlogsstasjon.

“The Navy has sent out a frigate, a coastal guard ship and three warships, and they were soon at the location,” Vetlejord said to TV 2 Nettavisen. “This happened practically outside our front door.”

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