Oil-spill ship pulled off the rocks

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The Icelandic-owned cargo ship that last Thursday caused an oil slick in a Norwegian oceanic national park has come off the rocks on which it had been perched since it ran aground.

The containership "Godafoss" aground and leaking oil off the islands of Hvaler. PHOTO: LN-FIX/Kystverket

The Godafoss, which had been leaking oil from containers on both sides of the ship, found itself in trouble in Hvaler, which lies just within the Upper Oslo Fjord National Park in southeast Norway, on its way to Sweden. The container vessel, which came off the rocks of its own accord during high tide, will now be towed to a nearby island, Styre, where it will be secured by anchors and inspected by divers before being drained of any remaining oil.

This news comes after confirmation Tuesday from the company that owns the ship, Eimskip, that there was nothing technically wrong with the vessel. At the same time, the head of the Bergen ship captain’s organization, Helge Brudvik, questioned whether human error could have contributed to the disaster.

Speaking to newspaper Aftenposten, Brudvik commented that it is “very unusual that the captain was alone on the bridge,” especially for such a large ship. He added that the large number of containers on deck could have contributed to obscuring the captain’s vision.

As of yesterday, authorities suggested that around 100 tons of oil had been gathered up as part of the relief effort. The Norwegian coast guard continued to cooperate with their Swedish counterparts to tackle the oil spill. Oil from the spill is believed to have reached land as far as Aust-Agder in Sørlandet, southern Norway.

Views and News from Norway/Aled-Dilwyn Fisher
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