More than 50 people manning five boats and a plane worked throughout the weekend to contain an oil spill in the Kattegat between Skagen, on Jutland’s northernmost tip, and the council of Tjörn on Sweden’s southwest coast.
Officials described the spill as the worst in the region in many years. However, rescue workers maintained on Saturday that the situation was under control.
“We’ve confined the major portion of the oil,” Jonas Berg, a supervisor with the Swedish Coast Guard, said. “Now there is just a small amount that is spread about. On Sunday we removed about 150 cubic meters of oil. The workers are doing really well and have been working around the clock since Friday,” he added.
Rescue workers focused especially on protecting Stigfjorden, a Swedish fjord and marine nature reserve north of Tjörn, from the spreading oil slick. Stigfjorden is known as a nesting site for vulnerable bird species.
The suspected source of the oil spill is a cargo ship from Malta called the ‘Golden Trader’. It was in the North Sea approximately 20 nautical miles west of Thyborøn, Denmark, on Saturday, September 10, when it collided with a small Belgian fishing trawler called the ‘Vidar’. The boats collided in clear, calm weather.
Nearby ships and a helicopter were called in for assistance. ‘Vidar’ sustained minor damage, but tore a hole in the side of the larger cargo ship and oil began to spill into the sea, reports shipping news site Vesseltracker.com.