The motorboat that ran over the side of a salmon pen at a Grieg Seafood site in April.

Hey, you can't park there, mate!

Workers at a Norwegian salmon farm were surprised and alarmed to find a speedboat in a pen when they started their shift. Fortunately no one was hurt but Grieg is unhappy it was not informed  of the incident by police

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Norwegian salmon farmer Grieg Seafood has complained that neither police nor a rescue crew informed the company that a motorboat had accidentally been driven into one its pens.

The incident occurred at Grieg’s Store Teistholmen Ø farm, which is located in Sandnes municipality in Rogaland county, at midnight on Sunday, April 28.

At 00:44 the vessel Rescue 159 Elias reached cage 6 at the site and rescued the boatman, who was put ashore at Hillevåg in Stavanger.

Neither Grieg Seafood nor the Directorate of Fisheries were notified of the incident, and when the company’s employees came to work in the morning, they found the boat in the cage, stuck in the net. Unaware that the boatman had been rescued, they started looking for dead or injured people in the cage.

The fish farm workers alerted the police about the boat at 08:01, but received feedback from the police that they had the situation under control.

Workers secured slings to lift the motorboat on to a service vessel.

Grieg Seafood Rogaland wrote in a letter to the Directorate of Fisheries that it will express its concern that neither the company nor the Directorate of Fisheries were notified of the incident.

It emphasised that there had been a significant risk of escape in the cage in question for eight hours after the incident.

“It appears to us as a system weakness that we were never notified by any public body or others who assisted the person who drove into the facility to get to shore, so that we could immediately leave to secure the facility against any risk of escape,” Grieg wrote in the letter.

Flashing lights

The company explained that the installation at Store Teistholmen was marked with flashing lights in accordance with regulations, and that the facility is clearly marked with the name of the owner.

“When we contacted the police, their feedback was that it was difficult to know whose facility it was, since it was in the middle of the night,” wrote Grieg.

The farming company notified the Directorate of Fisheries about the incident in the morning, at the same time it removed the boat and repaired damage to the cage and net. Fortunately, the damage to the cage and net was so minor that Grieg did not consider it likely that fish had escaped.

Immediate search

Liv Marit Årseth, communications manager at Grieg Seafood Rogaland, told Fish Farming Expert’s Norwegian sister site, Kyst.no, that it was a shocking experience for the employees at the location to come to work and find a boat in a cage of fish.

“A search was immediately launched for any injured or accident victims, and the emergency services were called. We were then told that the police were already aware of the incident, and that the boatman had been brought ashore.”

Årseth is clear that the collision could have resulted in a major escape incident, and said it was surprising that the company was not notified by any authorities.

“The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has been informed of the incident, and we are referring it to them when it comes to the handling by the police.”

Kyst.no has sent questions to both the Sør-West police district and the Directorate of Fisheries about the incident. Sør-West police district has notified that they will return with answers to Kyst’s questions.