Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fuel leak hits Norway's coast near nature reserve

Oil from an Icelandic container ship (at left) that ran aground Thursday night has come ashore on the coast of southern Norway near the country's only marine national park, Norwegian authorities said Friday.

"We don't know much about how big the oil spill is. This morning we had our airplane surveying the area to gather information," said Paal Are Lilleheim, spokesman at the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
"We don't know how much oil is left in the tanks. There is still much uncertainty."

The Norwegian coast guard said oil from the Godafoss came ashore at Aker Island, a seabird reserve at the mouth of the Oslo Fjord in the North Sea, less than 20 km from the Swedish border.

Norwegian media reports said leaks were coming from two tanks with a capacity of 250 tonnes each, but that it was unclear if the tanks were full.

The daily Aftenposten said the leaking fuel had drifted 2.5 miles west-southwest of the ship near the Ytre Hvaler oceanic national park, a rich underwater ecosystem containing corals and kelp forests.

Norwegian response crews were trying to put containment booms around the stricken vessel, local media reported.

The ship's owner, Eimskip, said the Godafoss (left) was stranded on a reef near the port of Fredrikstad.

"At the current time the vessel will not be vacated as the weather conditions are good in the area," Eimskip said.

Reuters,"Fuel leak hits Norway's coast near nature reserve ",accessed February 18, 2011

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