Swedish Coast Guard: Operation Kyrkesund

On September 15 the Swedish Coast Guard (SCG) received the first alert of oil contaminated shores on the south west coast of Sweden. It immediately led to activation of OSR actions in the area and Operation Kyrkesund was triggered to immediate responders. Initially it was unclear where the oil came from, but the priority was to contain and recover any oil affecting the archipelago.

Danish authorities had informed SCG the day before that there had been a ship collision outside the Danish west coast and that one of the ships was leaking oil. That said, the collision between the cargo vessel from Malta and a Belgian fishing boat had occurred a few days earlier, but had not been reported to authorities since damage seemed minor at the time, until oil began to leak. The harsh weather conditions in the area complicated and hampered OSR operations and the Danish authorities were able to recover approx. 60 mᵌ of oil.

Hurricane winds and choppy seas carried the oil slick to the Swedish coast which was deemed thereafter to be one of the worst to affect the area in over 20 years. The Swedish Coast Guard worked in close cooperation with the local rescue service and the Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS) also contributing by means of ships, booms and personnel.

In Operation Kyrkesund, SCG’s response vessels, oil recovery vessels for shallow waters and skimmers were deployed coupled with a large amount of booms to contain the oil. Moreover, OSR vessel KBV 050, which belongs to SCG, was also deployed to the area. KBV 050 is fitted with Lamor in-built oil recovery systems, LORS, as well as several of the workboats used in Operation Kyrkesund were equipped with Lamor Bow Collectors. The OSR responders effectively and efficiently recovered a total of 644 mᵌ of oil.