Norwegian cargo ship found

The Swedish coastguard has confirmed that the sunken cargo ship Langeland has been found south of the Koster islands off Sweden's west coast.

Norwegian cargo ship found

The Langeland’s six-person crew are presumed to have perished in the accident.

The vessel is at a depth of around 110 metres in the southern part of the Koster fjord and was located at around 1pm this afternoon with the help of a Remotely Operated Vehicle.

“We were able to identify the name of the vessel from the pictures, and could thereby confirm that it is the Langeland. It is lying on its port side in the mud and looks to have landed with force. But sight was very poor down there so we have not been able to see that much,” Ulrika Nilsson at the Swedish coastguard told the TT news agency.

The shipping line together with its insurance company which now have the main responsibility to decide on whether to salvage the ship.

“Our task is done and we have now submitted the details to the shipping line which will decided about salvaging. We will keep a check so that the ship does not start leaking oil, but there is currently little risk,” Ulrika Nilsson confirmed.

The chances of finding any of the six crew alive are adjudged to be very slight due to the depth and the duration of time since the accident.

A massive search operation had been ongoing since Friday when the Langeland sank after it had entered the Koster fjord in search of shelter from strong winds.

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‘Phantom’ ship drama caused by overloading

Too much load on the deck, inappropriate ballast to stabilize the ship, and poor manuals and guidelines for securing the load are the reasons behind drama at sea involving the Gibraltar-flagged Phantom outside of Ă–land in 2012.

'Phantom' ship drama caused by overloading

The report on the incident has been compiled by the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority (Statens Haverikommission) and published on Thursday.

Helicopters dashed to the rescue of the six-man crew of the merchant ship in February 2012 after it began listing heavily in the Baltic Sea.

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 at the time.

The Gibraltar-flagged vessel had loaded sawn timber in Oskarshamn and was heading for Casablanca in Morocco.

The mainly-Russia crew were flown to hospital in Kalmar and the vessel was towed back into port in Oskarshamn after a battle involving several coastguard vessels.

There was a real risk of the ship sinking and shedding its cargo and fuel in the Baltic Sea but disaster was ultimately avoided after an extensive and dramatic operation.

TT/AFP/The Local

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