Eight employees from WWL and Wilh. Wilhelmsen used two working days to scrub rocks and sift oil clumps.

The vessel "Full City" ran aground on 31 July just outside of Langesund, Norway, 170 kilometres south of Oslo.The vessel was carrying 1,000 cubic metres heavy oil (IFO 180) and approximately 120 tonnes of light oil.

"When an accidental oil spill like this happens, a sharp coordinated response is required.

WWF, the conservation organisation, and WWL could both see how to turn an unfortunate oil spill accident into a positive learning experience for employees and also add another dimension to our partnership," says Melanie Moore, WWL Head of Global Environment and Quality Management.

The voluntary employees were outfitted with protective clothing such as oil spill jump suits, rubber boots, and industrial gloves, and sent off with bags of bark to start the cleaning process.

"We arrived 2,5 weeks after the actual oil spill and there were still chunks of oil in the water and the beach areas and rocks were black," says Linda Haavik, Legal Counsel and a member of the WWL Oslo Environmental committee.

The cleaning process is labour intensive with workers using paint scrapers to carve the oil off the rocks and dig out blackened sand. Bark was a surprising ingredient in the clean up as it is used to absorb the oil before being removed and burnt as a heating product.

"The work is long and hard because the fumes from the oil are quite potent. And just when you think you are making progress in one area, the tide turns and you see your work being attacked again by residues in the water or coming up out of the sand," continues Linda.

"Seeing the oily beaches really made me understand the huge consequences of an oil spill," says Nils Lie, Vice President Business Development, Supply Chain Management.

"Being here gives me a first hand experience of the scope of the damage that can be caused from an accident in our industry."


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