Video: Rescue of Crew After Cargo Ships Collide in the North Sea

Collision in North Sea
Danish Navy rescued seven crewmembers from a lifeboat after they abandon their ship (Forsvaret)

Published Sep 9, 2022 11:55 AM by The Maritime Executive

The Danish Navy completed a search and rescue mission for seven sailors that had been forced to abandon their vessel after a collision in the North Sea. The crew of the Dutch general cargo ship Helge had been ordered to abandon the ship into an inflatable lifeboat by the captain and were rescued by a Navy helicopter in what was described as difficult weather conditions.

The 5,000 dwt bulk-oriented general cargo ship Helge owned by Sweden’s Eric Thun departed Antwerp and was sailing north along the Danish coast bound for Norway. The investigation is still trying to determine what type of cargo she was carrying, but reports from the Danish media suggest the vessel was experiencing difficulties in the weather conditions in the North Sea.

The Helge and the Bahamas flagged Wild Cosmos, a 10,000 dwt reefer traveling from Durban, South Africa to Tallinn, Estonia, collided approximately 20 nautical miles west of the Danish town of Ringkøbing on the western coast of Jutland. 

The emergency call was received by the Danish authorities at 5:40 a.m. with the captain reporting they were abandoning the Helge. The Danes dispatched two helicopters as well as three vessels and reported that the Norwegian Defense Force was also on standby to assist with the rescue. Commercial shipping in the area was also standing by to assist.



The crew of the Helge was airlifted to Denmark. The captain was taken to the hospital with cuts believed to be from glass while the others were uninjured.

The ship’s manager, Marin Ship Management, told the Danish media that they had brief contact with the captain before he evacuated the ship and it was uncertain what the condition of the vessel is at this time. They were sending two tugs while Danish media reports said the vessel could not be saved due to the bad weather.

The ship was built in 2013 and sized to fit through the lock between Lake Vanern in Sweden, which is the largest inland sea, and the Port of Gothenburg. The owners reported her carrying capacity as 210,000 cubic feet.

Reports indicate that the Wild Cosmos only suffered superficial damage in the collision and no injuries to her crew. The Jutland Police have assumed authority for the case and are investigating.