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Stranded 'Phantom' menaces Swedish coast

Stranded 'Phantom' menaces Swedish coast

Published: 16 Feb 2012 10:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Feb 2012 10:51 GMT+01:00

Helicopters dashed to the rescue of the six-man crew of a merchant ship after it began listing heavily in the Baltic Sea, Sweden's coastguard said Thursday.

The crew were winched to safety in darkness after the 80-metre vessel "Phantom" developed a heavy list late Wednesday shortly after leaving Oskarshamn in southern Sweden.

"It all went very quickly. We had to really rush there with helicopters, and the crew were chilled and had not even managed to get on their rescue suits. It was very worrying," coastguard spokesman Jonas Andersson told AFP.

The Gibraltar-flag ship was carrying a cargo of timber to Casablanca.

The mainly-Russia crew were flown to hospital in Kalmar but were "doing well, considering the circumstances," Andersson said.

Efforts are being made to try to prevent the ship from drifting onto the shore of the nearby island of Öland

"There is still a very big risk it will flip over and sink. We do not know how close it is to doing so," Andersson said.

"It doesn't look good."

Swedish media reported a sudden shifting of the ship's cargo could have caused the list.

On Thursday, a coastguard ship was working to keep the disabled vessel and its 31 cubic metres of diesel fuel from reaching land and other larger coastguard vessel was expected to arrive later in the day to assist in the operation in hopes of towing the “Phantom” to a harbour.

“At the moment, it's hard to say how it will end,” Andersson told the TT news agency, describing the situation as a race against time.

“But it's a risky endeavour to tow this ship because she's listing so heavily. The risk of a total wreck is pretty high.”

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:44 February 16, 2012 by Vermaldeehide
I love Star Wars! Oh wait this is about a boat?
21:17 February 16, 2012 by chantal11
hmmm another Swedish boat that didn't make it too far off the coast-
07:47 February 17, 2012 by karex
#2 The boat has a Gibraltar flag and the crew are mostly Russian so I don't think this one is Swedish.
17:22 February 17, 2012 by stevo1
i suppose the captain was Italian?
22:22 February 17, 2012 by serpari
Do you find it funny?

The captain is Russian and he is my father. He has more than 20 years experience. Alarm was made as soon as possible and everyone in the crew was in lifejacket when lifeguards arrived to the vessel.

I'm proud of my father and hope that Phantom will carry its further freight in the near future.
04:14 February 19, 2012 by Trenatos
The Local, please stop with the stupid article titles.

@chantal11, the ship was from Gibraltar.
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