Cargo Vessel Hits Unmanned North Sea Platform

On August 4, 2007 the Yarmouth Coastguard provided assistance to the 1978 built motor vessel 'Jork' which struck ConocoPhillips' unmanned platform 'Viking Echo' 40 miles northeast of Cromer just before 6:00 pm that evening.

The 95 meter 3,169 DWT general cargo vessel flying the Antigua & Barbuda flag had been traveling from Lubeck to New Holland East, carrying grain. The Coastguard is attempting to contact the vessels agents New Holland Shipping.

Standby vessels 'Putford Puffin' and 'Putford Terminator' steamed straight to the scene. The 'Jork' immediately began listing heavily to 30 degrees and 6 crew wearing lifejackets went into the sea. However they were quickly recovered to the daughter craft of the 'Putford Puffin' and have now all been accounted for.

The Jork's engines stopped and the vessel remains on the surface some one mile from the site of the incident although she is looking in a poor state. One crew member, the Master, remained for a while on board the stricken vessel in an effort to pump out the vessel however as the vessel listed still further and is settling by the bow he also went into the sea and has now been picked up. All crew have therefore been accounted for.

A rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham was scrambled to the scene. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Secretary of States Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention have also been informed. The rescue standby vessel 'Sartor' is currently standing by the stricken vessel.

According to the Associated Press a spokesperson for ConocoPhillips said only "very slight" damage had been caused to the platform.