Norwegian waste firm fined for withholding info

Waste managers SAR has been fined 1.8 million kroner ($290,000) for withholding information about the cargo on board the Alrita, when the ship ran aground in 2009.

Norwegian waste firm fined for withholding info
A storm off the Hustadvika coast. File photo: Kjell Herskedal/Scanpix

Newspaper Bergens Tidende reported on Monday that the Stavanger District Court in western Norway has ruled that the waste managers were guilty of negligence when not informing the crew properly about the goods transported by the Alrita. The ship sank off of Hustadvika in March 2009.

The 770 tonnes of sludge being transported was deemed too unstable to transport by a sea captain who warned the company when it made attempts to find an appropriate vessel.  The company withheld that information when it signed the assignment over to another crew. 

The Alrita captain was criticized in the verdict for not adequately checking the cargo before setting sail. 

SAR must now pay the fine to the Tysnes Sparebank bank, which had demanded compensation for its investment in the ship. 

Tysnes Sparebank welcomed the verdict, which it said set an "important precedent."

"Those who transport goods with special properties must know how that content behaves when it is transported," spokesman Christian Kjellby Nesset told Bergens Tidende.

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Watch: Norwegian rescue services evacuate crew from ship adrift at sea

A Dutch cargo ship was adrift in the Norwegian Sea on Tuesday after it was evacuated in dramatic fashion in rough seas, Norway's maritime authorities said.

Watch: Norwegian rescue services evacuate crew from ship adrift at sea
JRRC South Norway / AFP

The “Eemslift Hendrika” made a distress call Monday, reporting a heavy list after stormy weather displaced some of its cargo. 

The 12 crew members were evacuated in two stages later the same day by Norwegian rescue services: the first eight were airlifted from the deck of the cargo ship while the last four had to jump into the water.

Footage from the Norwegian authorities shows a man in an orange survival suit throwing himself into the rough sea off the stern of the ship.
The ship also suffered an engine failure and then began drifting towards to the Norwegian coastline.

On Tuesday morning it was about 130 kilometres (80 miles) northwest of the port city of Ålesund.

“The ship is drifting with a large list (between 40 and 50 degrees), so there is a risk that it will capsize,” Hans-Petter Mortensholm, head of the Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket) told AFP.

“Our main priority is to try to stabilise it so that it does not sink, and so that it does not leak fuel oil into the sea,” he added.
The cargo ship contains 350 cubic metres of heavy fuel oil, 75 cubic metres of diesel and 10m3 of lubricating oil.

A Norwegian Coast Guard vessel was en route to the ship on Tuesday morning.

The operator of the vessel has also called in the Dutch company Smit Salvage, which was involved in the refloating of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal last week.

Weather conditions were “extremely bad” with waves of 10 to 15 metres, complicating the situation but a lull was expected in the afternoon, according to Kystverket.