The main rescue center in southern Norway responded to the Eemslift Hendrika, a ship in distress off the coast of Norway.
The ship was at risk of capsizing and was adrift since Monday.
Rescue crews arrived and airlifted eight crew to safety and about eight hours later rescued the remaining four crew members.
They were taken to land via a helicopter.
A tow rope has been fixed to the vessel and it is being towed into Breisundet outside Ålesund for further inspection.
A distress call was issued by the crew when the cargo had shifted.
The ship is owned by Dutch company Amasus Shipping.