Historical archive

Oil drained from wreck of HMS Bittern

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs

- I am very pleased that the Coastal Administration has now begun to empty oil from the wreck of HMS Bittern. Oil leaks that come from wrecks can threaten nature, and it is necessary to act quickly on the leak from HMS Bittern, says the Norwegian minister for fisheries and coastal affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen.

- I am very pleased that the Coastal Administration has now begun to empty oil from the wreck of HMS Bittern. Oil leaks that come from wrecks can threaten nature, and it is necessary to act quickly on the leak from HMS Bittern, says the Norwegian minister for fisheries and coastal affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration is in place in Namsos with the vessel NSO Crusader, one of the vessels in the state-administered towing contingency fleet in Northern Norway. This vessel will be the operational platform during the work of draining the oil. The wreck will be drained using a mini submarine, which will first drill a hole in the hull so that the oil can then be pumped on board the surface vessel. The operation for draining oil from the wreck is estimated at taking a little less than two weeks. The Norwegian national budget for 2011 allocated NOK 30 million to follow-up the Coastal Administration's wreck report from 2006.  In this report, the Administration considered necessary measures against potential acute oil pollution from wrecks along the Norwegian coast. HMS Bittern was not one of the five wrecks that were prioritised for action, but as an acute leak has now developed from the wreck, it had to be addressed. HMS Bittern can be drained within the same allocation of funds, among other things because the use of a vessel from the national towing contingency fleet as the operational platform plays its part in reducing costs.

- I am pleased that the Coastal Administration will have drained all of the five prioritised wrecks during 2011. This plays its part in safeguarding the marine environment, states minister of fisheries and coastal affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen.

The wreck of Nordvard, off Moss, was drained in 2007/2008, and the wreck of Welheim, off Florø, was drained in 2008. The Coastal Administration has entered into a contract with Frank Mohn AS for drainage of the three remaining wrecks.  These are Erich Giese and Neuenfels, off Narvik and Boardale, off Vesterålen. According to the plans, drainage of these wrecks will be completed in 2011.

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