Norwegian tanker aground in U.S. Arctic, stirs concern about security

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The Norwegian flagged tanker «Champion Ebony» ran aground on Nunivak Island, 135 miles west of Bethel in the Bering Sea. (iStock)
The Norwegian flagged tanker «Champion Ebony» ran aground on Nunivak Island, 135 miles west of Bethel in the Bering Sea. (iStock)
The Norwegian flagged chemical tanker was loaded with 14,000 tons of oil products when it touched the ground in the Bering Strait.

The incident quickly got a reaction from Bob Herron, member of the Alaska State House of Representatives.

«This incident definitely highlights the need for more icebreakers, a forward Arctic U.S. Coast Guard base – the closest one now is 900 miles away in Kodiak – and continued support for Arctic Coast Guard operations, exercises, and disaster planning», Herron says in a press release.

Herron is former co-chair of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC).

«The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission heard early and often that Alaskans living in Arctic coastal villages were concerned about the possibility of a hazardous spill in Arctic waters and about the lack of resources to adequately respond», the politican underlines.

“A triviality,” says company spokesman

The Norwegian flagged tanker «Champion Ebony» ran aground on Nunivak Island, 135 miles west of Bethel in the Bering Sea.

According to shipping company Champion Tankers, the ship «Champion Ebony» only slightly touched the ground when it passed through the area. There was no damage inflicted on the ship and it must all be considered as «a triviality», a company spokesman says to NRK.

The «Champion Ebony» has 183m length overall and beam of 32m. Her gross tonnage is 27547 tons.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Report urges creation of new governance structure for oversight of Arctic shipping, Radio Canada International

Iceland: Calls for action at Arctic shipping conference, Alaska Dispatch News

Norway:  Arctic shipping – The myths, the realities & the challenges ahead, Eye on the Arctic

Russia:  Arctic tests for Russia’s new icebreakers, The Independent Barents Observer

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Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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