Rescue team frees 'Glory Amsterdam' freighter from German sandbar

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 02, 2017 8:22 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - A rescue team freed the grounded freighter "Glory Amsterdam" from a sandbar near the North Sea island of Langeoog and ruled out an oil leak, German authorities said on Thursday.

Two large towing ships pulled the freighter to deep water and 16,000 tons of ballast water were pumped out of it, said Simone Starke, spokeswoman for Germany's Central Command for Maritime Emergencies.

Environmental and fishery groups warned of dire consequences to the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage site, if the ship began leaking 1,800 tonnes of heavy oil and 140 tonnes of marine diesel on board but there was no damage to the hull, authorities said.

"No leaking was found during the towing process. An oil monitoring plane will accompany the barges toward Wilhelmshaven," said Starke.

Shallow waters off the island had forced officials to revise initial plans to dislodge the 225-metre (742-foot) freighter, which ran aground during a storm on Sunday that killed at least six people in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.

After rescuing the ship, the 22 crew members and 7 advisory experts went on board and 3 ships were connected with the freighter to lead it to Wilhelmshaven port in the Northern Sea.

(Reporting By Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)