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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Captain ‘wanted to destroy documents’

The captain of a Chinese ship that grounded off the southern Norwegian coast last summer allegedly tried to destroy documents related to its anchoring equipment, according to reports from the officer’s trial now underway.

The bulk cargo vessel Full City grounded in a storm last summer while it was anchored off Telemark, waiting to pick up a cargo at Herøya. The grounding damaged the vessel and unleashed its heavy bunker fuel into the water, resulting in the worst oil spill ever in Norway.

Both the vessel’s Chinese captain and the senior officer on duty that night are on trial for negligence, but they have pleaded “not guilty.” They claim the oil spill was the result of an accident in stormy seas, and that they had done everything they could to prevent it.

Local news site Telemarksavisa reported from the trial that the captain allegedly tried to cover up problems with bolts on the vessels anchor chain. The captain is alleged to have borrowed a police telephone and ordered crew still on board the Full City to destroy documents related to the bolts. His conversation reportedly was recorded without him knowing, and later translated.

The vessel is controlled by state-owned China Ocean Shipping Co (COSCO). The officers’ trial was expected to last two weeks.

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