Published: , Updated:

Fjord Champion

The tanker MV Fjord Champion caught fire 16 nautical miles south of Mandal on 4 March 2005.

The tanker MV Fjord Champion caught fire 16 nautical miles south of Mandal on 4 March 2005. The vessel's fire alarm went off at around 21:35. A strong wind was blowing from the south, it was around 3 degrees, and at around midnight it started snowing. The fire was reported via VHF and the message stated that there was thick smoke on the bridge. Attempts were made to extinguish the fire with the available means on board. The vessel's engine was stopped at 22:02 and the vessel's fire fighting system was triggered between 22:05 and 22:10. Because the engine was stopped the vessel began to turn on to a westerly course. The smoke increased just after midnight and it was possible to flames from the bridge for the first time. The crew was evacuated during the night.

The fire triggered several explosions and the entire superstructure was burning heavily. The vessel was washed aground east of Udvar in the municipality of Søgne early on the morning of 5 March 2005.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) received the incident report on the evening of 4 March. The Coastal Administration was informed early on that there were around 750 ton of heavy fuel oil, 82 ton of marine diesel and 25-30 ton of lubricants on aboard. These oil products were deemed to present a significant risk of acute pollution. After midnight on 5 March, the NCA received a report saying the situation had worsened. The shipowner had hired a salvage company. Since the shipowner had no oil spill prevention and response resources of significance. The NCA decided to take over the leading of the response due to the major risk of acute pollution

The fire service was involved in fighting the fire and preventing it restarting. On 8 March, the vessel was towed to Kristiansand and emptied of oil products.

The government and shipowner disagree on the legal basis for demanding reimbursement. Legal proceedings have been taking place to arrive at a final clarification of the disputed issues.  In February 2014, the Norwegian Supreme Court's appeals committee backed the Court of Appeal's interpretation of the duty to take measures in section 7 of the Pollution Control Act and refused permission for the appeal to proceed. The government's interpretation of the provisions of the Pollution Control Act therefore won.  

Latest news