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Previous operations

An overview of previous operations led by NCA.

  • Eemslift Hendrika

    On Monday 5 April 2021, the Dutch cargo ship Eemslift Hendrika sent out an emergency message after being hit. The ship was then about 60 nautical miles west of Ålesund. Everyone on board was evacuated during Monday, and the ship went on autopilot for a long time. Late that evening, the ship lost engine power, and began drifting in the Norwegian Sea. The ship had 350 tons of heavy oil and 50 tons of diesel on board.

    On the night of Wednesday 7 April, the tugs BB Ocean and Nordmand Drott arrived at Eemslift Hendrika. They were ready to tow the boat ashore. Due to strong winds and high waves, it was not possible for the rescue crew to get on board the ship. It therefore continued to operate.

    As a result of the imminent risk that the vessel might drift ashore, the Norwegian Coastal Administration declared state action from 7 pm on 7 April. Full mobilization of oil spill response resources in the area was initiated. The Norwegian Coastal Administration was preparing for a worst-case scenario with grounding.

    Around 9:30 pm the same evening, all of the salvage crews were on board. Rigging for towing both forwards and aft was carried out. A couple of hours later, the ship was attached to the tugs. And it became clear that the risk of grounding had been averted.

    5:30pm on Thursday 8 April, the casualty was safe at the quay in Ålesund.

  • Helge Ingstad

    The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad and the tanker Sola TS collided in Hjeltefjorden. The location was north of the Sture terminal in Øygarden municipality in Hordaland at 04.02, on Thursday 8 November 2018.

    Due to the damage and lack of control of the ship, the frigate ran aground just north of the Sture terminal. A total of 137 crew members were evacuated.

    On the same day, the Norwegian Navy and Defense Materiel (FMA) were ordered by the Norwegian Coastal Administration to remove KNM Helge Ingstad. It was also ordered to secure the environment for further emissions of fuel. The Norwegian Coastal Administration declared it a government operation. The NCA took responsibility for the oil spill response on behalf of the responsible polluter - the Norwegian Navy and the FMA. The Norwegian Coastal Administration supervised the Norwegian Navy and the FMA's salvage / raising of KNM Helge Ingstad.

    The safety work by KNM Helge Ingstad was initiated by the Norwegian Navy. The frigate sank deeper on 11 November and settled in an unstable position until the ship was removed in February 2019.

    The discharge from the warship is estimated to be approximately 352 cubic meters of oil. Environmental studies have been carried out to assess damage to seabirds and marine mammals, farmed fish, shells and sediment. The results show that the discharge has led to a negative local environmental impact on seabirds and mussels. Although, due to the dilution in the water masses, the proven environmental damage is limited. The number of registered suspected oil-affected seabirds is between 50 and 200.

    The Norwegian Coastal Administration's oil spill response operation ended in February 2019. At that time KNM Helge Ingstad was transported to Haakonsvern Naval Station.

  • Tide Carrier

    On 22 February 2017, the cargo ship Tide Carrier had its engine stopped off Jæren. A total of 20 people were on board, and the ship was only approx. 100 meters from land. On board were 1,500 cubic meters of oily liquids. Due to the danger of environmental damage, the Norwegian Coastal Administration took government action to tow the ship safely ashore.

    Due to bad weather, it was not safe to tow the boat until the next morning. During the night, the NCA was fully prepared for potential pollution. A total of three coastguard vessels were nearby. KV Bergen was right next to the casualty. The oil spill response force at the Coastal Administration in Stavanger was mobilized, and the equipment was moved to the beach. The next morning the tow to Gismarvik went without problems.

    The investigation of the case showed that the ship was probably on its way to Pakistan for illegal dismantling. In 2020, shipowners were sentenced to six months in prison for violating the Pollution Control Act.

  • Godafoss

    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. This 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. Thereafter it was carried southwards by the current through the Vestfold archipelago and along the coast to Vest-Agder.

    The ship owner 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 NCA mobilised:

    • 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. 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. It was cleaned in six locations in Østfold. 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. 53 of 56 locations in Midt-Agder were cleaned up. 23 locations in Vest-Agder 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). This was 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. The last of the reimbursement claims was paid in January 2019.

  • Full City

    On the morning of 30 June 2009, the bulk carrier MV Full City sailed from Skagen in Denmark. The vessel was carrying about 1,100 ton of heavy oil and some diesel.

    The vessel arrived in Langesund in Telemark before noon on the same day. The vessel was at the time in ballast and was going to take on artificial fertiliser at Herøya in Porsgrunn. Full City dropped anchor at Såsteinflaket outside Langesund on the orders of the vessel's agent while awaiting a quay berth. The vessel was thus 0.9 nautical miles from the nearest land. Såsteinflaket is open towards Skagerrak and unprotected from winds from the south. A near gale was blowing from the southeast when the anchor was dropped. The wave height was calculated between 2-4 meters. A storm warning was broadcast over the radio.

    The weather worsened during the evening and the wind increased to a gale. This while turning from the southeast to the south-west. The wave height was calculated to be 4-6 meters. Full City was rolling rapidly and pitching heavily in the sea.

    Information from the AIS system shows that Full City started to drift towards shore just before midnight. Just after midnight, Breivik VTS contacted the vessel to inform them the vessel was drifting and asked for information about the situation. The captain tried to start the vessel and gain control over the situation, but his attempts failed. Full City ran around at 00:23 near Såstein. The captain requested assistance at 00:37. A vessel was sent to evacuate the crew. It was impossible to get a line on board because of the bad weather and sea.

    Strong winds and high seas increased the damage to the vessel during the night, before the vessel settled on the rocks outside Såstein. The vessel suffered extensive hull damage, which resulted in an oil spill. This polluted the coastline, which included a number of conservation areas and bird reserves.

    The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) received the grounding report at 00:50. The rescue operation was headed by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. Shortly after a large proportion of the Full City's crew was evacuated, the NCA decided to take over the leading of the response. This was due to the major risk of acute pollution.

    A large number of resources took part in the operation. The inter-council committees for acute pollution (IUA) in Telemark, Vestfold and Aust-Agder were mobilized. Assistance was provided by the Norwegian Civil Defence and Home Guard. The IUA in Østfold, Vest-Agder and Kristiansand were also placed on standby. Oil spill prevention and response equipment from the emergency response depots in Horten and Kristiansand was mobilized. The NCA fixed-wing reconnaissance aircraft and a helicopter assisted in order to provide an overview from the air. The NCA depot teams from Svalbard in the north to Kristiansand in the south were deployed. Both the Norwegian and Swedish Coast Guard assisted with vessel resources.

    On 17 August 2009, Full City was refloated so it could be towed to the quay north of Langesund. On 14 September 2009 the job of towing Full City to Sweden started.

    Of the total 1,154 ton of oil that was on board Full City, 27 ton were recovered in the maritime operation. 74 ton was recovered in the shore operation. 860 ton was pumped out of the disabled vessel, and 191 ton of oil was left in the environment. Around 3,000 ton of oil-contaminated waste was sent to landfill sites.

    The spill caused pollution in the area from Stavern in Vestfold to Lillesand in Aust-Agder. Approximately 200 locations were polluted by oil. The area contaminated with oil included 37 protected nature and bird reserves and geologically protected areas. Many recreational areas and private properties were also polluted with oil. More than 2,000 sea birds died as a direct result of the incident.

    The NCA presented a claim to recover the costs the government incurred due to managing the incident. The ship owner has established a limitation fund. This is in line with the rules of the Norwegian Maritime Code to limit its overall financial liability. In October 2020, there was a settlement between the parties.

  • Server

    The cargo vessel MV Server grounded near Hellesøy lighthouse in the municipality of Fedje on 12 January 2007.

    The vessel was 179.5 meters long and with a gross tonnage of 19,864. After it ran aground, a hole in the hull near the engine room was reported. And also that the vessel was taking on water. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre initiated a rescue operation and the crew of 25 was evacuated. After the evacuation, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) decided to take over the leading of the response. This due to the major risk of acute pollution. The weather conditions made it difficult to initiate measures to prevent or limit an acute oil spill from the vessel. After consulting the salvage company hired by the ship owner, it was decided against towing the vessel off the rocks.

    Its condition worsened during the evening and at around 22:55 the vessel broke in two. The vessel broke in two by tank no. 5 and bunker oil was spilled into the sea. The aft section sank immediately and is still lying at the wreck site. Subsequent surveys have shown that the stern no longer contains significant quantities of oil. To avoid the risk of forepart sinking and the consequent dispersal of oil, it had to be towed to calm waters. On 13 January 2007, the forepart of the vessel was beached in six-meter deep shallows next to Coast Centre Base in Ågotnes in Fjell municipality. The vessel leaked bunker oil during the tow, but the quantity could not be estimated.

    The ship owner arranged for the forepart to be emptied of the remaining bunker oil. The NCA instructed the shipowner to remove the aft section. Oil contamination was registered in eight municipalities. Poor weather in the first few days contributed to the wide dispersal of oil. Recovering the oil was very difficult. The oil on the surface was primarily recovered by Norwegian Coast Guard vessels and the NCA own vessels. The vessel was carrying a total of 676 ton of oil products on board. Based on oil samples, it was calculated that 380 ton of oil either were left in the environment, or had naturally decomposed/evaporated.

    The wreck resulted in a large area of the coast being polluted by oil. About 40 km of shoreline was polluted because of the incident. The initial phase of the beach cleansing operation focused on reconnaissance and managing the oil with booms. This was done to protect vulnerable areas or confining the oil so that it could not drift into new areas. After this the beach areas underwent a general cleansing process. This phase largely involved cleaning up with the aid of manual methods.

    More than 200 people, 30 vessels and equipment were involved in this phase of the cleansing work. The shoreline then underwent a more meticulous cleansing process. A watch team was established in the NCA and deployed if the public reported observing pollution.

    Around 40 km of shoreline was also polluted because of the incident. 

    The pollution was a serious incident for the bird life in the affected regions. Overwintering seabirds were the worst affected. A total of 1 554 oil-contaminated birds of 22 different species were injured. There were also reported dead otters. Four fish farming and aquaculture facilities were affected somewhat, but did not require special measures.

    The NCA presented a claim to recover the costs the government incurred due to managing the incident. The presented claim is about NOK 200 million. The ship owner established a limitation fund in line with the Norwegian Maritime Code to limit its maximum financial liability. The fund process has been completed. The government and ship owner failed to reach agreement on all aspects of the fund administrator's conclusion and legal proceedings were initiated in Oslo City Court. The main hearing was held in November 2014.

  • 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 firefighting 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 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 ship owner had hired a salvage company. Since the ship owner 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 ship owner 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. It refused permission for the appeal to proceed. The government's interpretation of the provisions of the Pollution Control Act therefore won.  

  • Rocknes

    The cargo vessel MS Rocknes grounded on 19 January 2004 near Revskolten light.

    The vessel immediately began to list to starboard and capsized completely in under a minute. The vessel was carrying around 23,000 ton of stone. It was also carrying 470 cubic metric of heavy oil and 70 cubic metric of diesel. Of the crew of 28, 18 died, including the vessel's captain. The traffic service alerted the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA). The inter-council committees for acute pollution (IUA) in Bergen was notified and joined the NCA team in the beach and shore operation. The NCA had focus on the sea going operation.

    The NCA supervised the handling of the vessel as the ship owner assessed the measures for securing the wreck. 18 people went missing after the accident and it was assumed that some of them were inside the vessel. The police were responsible for securing the wreck and the immediate surrounding area due to the rescue operation. The response work due to the risk of oil pollution could not start before the rescue operation was completed. At the same time, it was ascertained that it would be impossible to conduct a search for the missing given the location of the wreck. It was 180 degrees upside down, very unstable, and being kept in place against the shore by other vessels. The plan, therefore, was to move the vessel to port where a search could be conducted for the missing. The ship owner implemented measures to reduce the risk of pollution. This work was conducted in collaboration with the insurance company and salvage specialists. 

    Measures to recover oil from the sea was implemented after the rescue operation on the evening of 19 January. A large number of companies and individuals offered their services and resources. Their aim was to prevent oil pollution and some deployed private equipment in the operation without the clearance of the operation leaders.

    When the wreck was ready to be moved, there was little free-floating oil left in the sea. The ship owner was instructed to establish extensive contingency plans for the move. This was to prevent new leaks of oil that might be released during the tow causing greater pollution. On 28 January, the vessel was moved to Coast Centre Base in Ågotnes. Following an agreement with the ship owner, the NCA assumed responsibility for the contingency measures. Despite the extensive contingency measures, some oil was released and there was a need for further recovery in the sea. Upon its arrival, oil booms cordoned off the vessel. After the wreck was righted it no longer represented any risk of pollution.

    45 km of shoreline were cleaned up. It is estimated that between 2.000 and 3.000 seabirds died as a direct consequence of the pollution. The food sources of seabirds and fish were also contaminated. The shoreline operation lasted for almost five months and a total of 621 ton of oil-contaminated materials were recovered. 85 ton of these were pure oil fractions. The case was ended in line with the distribution of the limitation fund, in accordance with the rules of the Norwegian Maritime Code. 

  • Gudrun Gisladottir

    On 18 June 2002, the Icelandic factory vessel Gudrun Gisladottir grounded at Nappstraumen in Lofoten. The vessel sank and is now lying at a depth of around 40 meters. There appears to be no danger of the wreck moving due to the sea conditions.

    There were no leaks from the vessel and no oil was observed in the sea. The vessel contained about 367 cubic metric of marine diesel, 10 cubic metric of lubricants, and hydraulic oil. The cargo consisted of 870 cubic metric of frozen herring fillets. The fillets were packed in plastic and laid in cardboard boxes that weighed about 23 kg fully packed.  

    Both the ship owner and the Norwegian Coastal Administration attempt to raise the vessel. The attempt failed. On 28 May 2004, it was decided that the vessel would not be raised. It was therefore decided to unload the vessel for oil products. Given this, as much of the oil on board as possible was emptied out of Gudrun Gisladottir on 5 July 2004. 

  • Federal Kivalina

    The bulk carrier MV Federal Kivalina grounded near Årundsøya in Møre og Romsdal on 6 October 2008.

    The vessel was loaded with 35,700 ton of bauxite. The vessel hit the rocks hard and its hull was holed.

    The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) was mobilised in connection with the incident to manage the pollution aspect of the situation. The NCA decided that the vessel's cargo did not represent a major risk of acute pollution. The vessel was loaded with about 160 ton of heavy oil and 40 ton of diesel. This represented a major risk of acute pollution. On behalf of the responsible polluter, the NCA implemented measures in order to reduce the risk of acute pollution.

    The measures that were implemented by the NCA during the operation included:

    • manpower from oil spill prevention and emergency response depots
    • establishing a forward oil spill prevention and emergency response depots
    • the NCA aircraft
    • pilot services including pilots and pilot vessels
    • the NCA vessels
    • private vessels with ROV capacity
    • and the NCA emergency response personnel

    An unload operation was commenced by the ship owner on 8 October. On 11 November the bunkers was unloaded and the vessel refloated. Thereafter, the vessel was towed to Sunndalsøra where it moored.

    The NCA incurred costs due to the measures aimed at preventing and limiting acute pollution. The responsible polluter has reimbursed these.

  • MV Crete Cement

    The cargo vessel MV Crete Cement grounded near Aspond outside Fagerstrand on the morning of 19 November 2008.

    It became clear that the vessel was in a critical condition. It was therefore decided to beach the vessel into Grisebubukta outside of Fagerstrand. The vessel was loaded with cement. It also had about 115 ton of heavy oil, 19 ton of marine diesel and 5-6 ton of lubricants on board. On the evening of 19 November, the NCA decided to take over the leading of the response. This due to the major risk of acute pollution

    The area the vessel grounded was in is environmentally vulnerable. It has important outdoor and recreational areas for large groups of residents. It also hosts many overwintering marine species.

    The vessel was surrounded by booms on 19 November. Oil began to leak from the wreck the following day. In order to prevent the vessel from drifting and sink completely, mooring bolts were inserted into the rock.  On 22 November, the ship owner started to unload the vessel for oil products. The operation continued until the vessel was refloated on 11 December.

    The NCA presented a claim to recover the costs the government incurred due to managing the incident. The ship owner has paid part of the claim, but some parts are still disputed.  Legal proceedings were started in Oslo City Court, but have been put on hold in anticipation of a legally enforceable decision in the Server case. This decision is expected to settle issues that will be of significance to the Crete Cement claim.

  • MV Petrozavodsk

    The Russian vessel MV Petrozavodsk grounded outside of Bjørnøya on 11 May 2009 at around 05:00.

    The crew of 12 was evacuated by helicopter at around 08:30. The vessel was not carrying any cargo. The vessel was loaded with about 50-60 cubic metric of marine diesel. This was loaded in two tanks located amidships and 690 litres of lubricants.

    Bjørnøya is a nature reserve. Vessels are banned from sailing within one nautical mile of land from where the grounding took place. The ban is related to the consideration for the seabirds during their nesting period. The grounding occurred in the middle of one of Norway's and the North Atlantic's most important nesting areas. The Guillemot population in this important nesting area is particularly vulnerable. The grounding occurred at the start of the nesting period.

    Immediately after the incident, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) surveyed the wreck and surrounding environment. The NCA decided to take over the leading of the response due to the major risk of acute pollution. The wreck was lying under a cliff with frequent rock falls and it was therefore difficult to reach the wreck. Immediately after the shipwreck, the weather was moving in from the east. The waves were about three metres high and striking the vessel straight on. Because of the weather conditions and location of the wreck, it was deemed inadvisable to put people on board it. The weather also made it impossible to work on the vessel.

    There was slight or no leakage when the vessel grounded. When the weather situation improved, there was no oil in the sea. Although minor traces of pollution could be observed on shore.  An attempt was made to board the wreck, but due to the rockslide, it was too dangerous to continue the operation. A few weeks later, researchers observed oil products leaking from the wreck. After a while, the ship owner started discharge the vessel of oil and antifreeze solution. It was also removed a number of environmentally hazardous components. 30 cubic metres of oil products were pumped out of Petrozavodsk.

    Later on, the NCA carried out:

    • an operation on the wreck
    • surveyed all the potential sources of pollution remaining on the vessel
    • and investigated whether there had been any impact on marine life near the location

    A number of objects and products were removed from the vessel on this trip as well. No negative impact on bird life was recorded. Researchers who were on site during the entire nesting period monitored the bird population in the area.

    The NCA issued an order to manage the pollution risk and the actual wreck. This order was carried out on the same day as the accident. In May 2011, part of the 2009 order concerning removing the wreck was reversed. The NCA initially assumed that completely removing the wreck would be the most appropriate measure. Although, the new assessment was based on, among other things, clarifications concerning the technical possibility of removing the wreck and health and safety considerations. Based on this, the NCA reversed the instructions to remove the vessel. The ship owner was instead ordered to remove environmentally hazardous components and objects from the wreck.

    The NCA presented a claim to recover the costs the government incurred due to managing the incident. A main hearing was held in Oslo City Court in November 2012 because the claim was disputed. The ship owner appealed the judgement and the appeal hearing is scheduled for September 2015.

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