Norway mounted an intense effort on Saturday
to clean up and contain a fuel spill from a Cypriot-registered cargo ship
that ran aground on Friday on the west coast, north of Bergen, officials said.
The entire 25-man crew was rescued by helicopter
on Friday evening from the 180-metre Greek-owned "M/S Server"
after it hit rocks near the Hellesoy lighthouse
on the island of Fedje in the county of Hordaland.
The ship broke in two, and the stern section sank,
but the bow part was towed to calmer waters and secured, officials said.
"There is oil in the water and it has reached one part of the island where the ship ran aground,"
said spokeswoman Ane Eide Kjaeraas at the the Norwegian Coastal Administration
which is leading the clean-up.
"It has reached the west of side Fedje."
The Coastal Administration estimated that 290 tonnes of heavy fuel oil spilt into the water, Eide Kjaeraas said.
"It is a serious accident - absolutely," she said.
The "Server", which was carrying no cargo en route to Murmansk in northwestern Russia,
had 585 tonnes of bunker fuel oil and 72 tonnes of marine diesel aboard when it ran aground,
the Coastal Administration said in a statement.
"We have high seas, quite intense wind in the area
so it is hard to estimate visually how much oil is out there," Eide Kjaeraas said.
A tank that had been situated where the ship broke in two held 290 tonnes of bunkers.
Another tank with capacity of 300 tonnes is in the bow section that has been secured, she said.
Environmental groups feared the fuel could drift to a nearby bird sanctuary
where a large number of birds have wintered due to unseasonally mild weather this year.
But Eide Kjaeraas said no oil had been observed in the area.