The search for two men who ended up falling into the sea on Thursday morning from the cargo ship Stara Planina in the Norwegian Sea has ended without result.
The two men who fell overboard about 400 kilometers southwest of Bodø and are now believed to have died, NTB was informed by the Norwegian National Rescue Center, Thursday night. This leaves further work for the police.
– “Due to the weather, nothing more can be done on our part tonight. A new assessment will be taken on Friday,” says operations manager Kjetil Kaalaas in the Nordland police district to NTB.
The rescue operation ended at 8pm on Thursday evening. There is bad weather in the area and waves of up to ten meters high.
The rescue center was notified of the incident at 11:30 AM, Thursday morning. The two missing men are Bulgarian citizens.
The SeaKing helicopter has observed two lifebuoys, one with light and one without, but the two missing men were not nearby. At 18 o’clock the helicopter search was temporarily terminated due to the weather.
“The plan was to replenish fuel on the Heidrun platform, but the winds are at the strength of a full blown hurricane, so we had to give it up,” guard rescue officer Jan Eskil Severinsen told NTB.
Ten meters high waves
The crew threw out flotation and marker buoys, but it is uncertain if the two missing got a hold of them. The two were working on the deck when they fell overboard.
The HRS has been informed after that the two men were not wearing lifejackets nor survival suits – only ordinary work clothes.
“This is a large freight vessel of 186 meters, and it is very bad weather and difficult to maneuver such a large and heavy vessel, so there are demanding conditions out there,” said the rescue leader.
Far out in the Norwegian Sea
In other words, the ship lies about 180 nautical miles west of Sandnessjøen and is located far out in the Norwegian Sea.
The cargo ship was on its way from Murmansk in Russia to Constanta in Romania.
The ship is owned by the Bulgarian shipping company Navibulgar, which is one of the largest shipping companies in Bulgaria. The company has 46 bulk ships, including Stara Planica, which was built in 2007.
Stara Planica is registered in Malta. NTB has tried to get in touch with the Bulgarian shipping company, but has not succeeded.
Storm system in the Norwegian Sea
A storm system is currently located in the Norwegian Sea and is expected to hit the Norwegian coast on Friday. Large parts of the country will experience strong gusts of wind, and warnings have been sent out to several places.
Already on Thursday, ferries have been canceled, mountain roads and passes closed and warnings for floods.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today