The container vessel MV Godafoss grounded at Kvernskjærgrunnen in Hvaler on 17 February 2011. B6oth cold and ice presented major challenges for the subsequent oil spill prevention and response operation.
MV Godafoss was carrying 439 containers, two of which contained a total of 12 ton of explosives. In addition to diesel and lubricants, the vessel had about 894 cubic metric of heavy fuel oil on board. The captain early reported that the vessel was leaking a significant amount of oil and that the vessel was stuck aground.
From midnight on the 18 February the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) decided to take over the leading of the response due to the oil spill and major risk of further leaks and acute pollution.
The grounding resulted in a significant oil spill. The oil was dispersed by coastal currents from the site of the grounding in the Oslo Fjord towards Hollenderbåen, before being carried southwards by the current through the Vestfold archipelago and along the coast to Vest-Agder.
The shipowner hired a salvage company to handle the vessel, cargo and remaining bunkers. The vessel was refloated on 23 February 2011 and sailed to Denmark on 28 February for docking. The NCA managed the oil leak and measures for preventing further oil leaks. The oil spill resulted in the death of around 1500 seabirds. The oil also contaminated mussels, making them unsuitable for consumption for a period of time.
On the same evening as the grounding, the NCAmobilised vessels, emergency response depots, the inter-council committees for acute pollution (IUA) in Østfold and Vestfold. Swedish assistance was also requested. The first booms were put in place around the vessel the same night as the grounding occurred. The oil recovery operation started on 18 February 2011. 14 vessels of all sizes were involved. IUA in Telemark, Aust-Agder, Midt-Agder and Vest-Agder, was also mobilised. Fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters were deployed to maintain an overview of free-floating oil and oil that had come ashore.
In total, the operation involved 19 vessels. . The oil was recovered while it drifted with the coastal currents and ended up on the coast of Southern Norway. A large proportion of the seagoing resources were demobilized on 22 February 2011 as oil that could be recovered by vessels could no longer be observed in the sea.
Beach cleansing was carried out by IUA and with the assistance of, the NCA. Oil contamination was found in 10 locations and it was cleaned in 6 locations in Østfold, while in Vestfold it was registered in 27 locations and cleaned up in 26 locations. No contamination was registered in Telemark. Contamination was also registered in 21 locations in Aust-Agder, all of which were cleaned up, 56 locations in Midt-Agder, 53 of these locations were cleaned up, and 23 locations in Vest-Agder, all of which were cleaned up. With the exception of the beach cleansing in Aust-Agder, which was completed in May 2012, beach cleansing operations ended in 2011. In Østfold the work was completed in March, while in the other areas it was completed during the autumn.
Following the operation the NCA was reported to the Norwegian Complaints Board for Public Procurement (KOFA) because of procurements made during the operation. The complaint was not taken into account.
The NCA presented a claim to recover the costs the government incurred due to managing the incident. Legal proceedings have been put on hold in anticipation of a legally enforceable decision in the Server and Full City case that is expected to settle issues that will be of significance to the Godafoss claim.
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