Race to stop Norway frigate sinking after oil tanker collision

Evarado Alatorre
Noviembre 9, 2018

The Maltese-flagged tanker, Sola TS, was not damaged and its 23-man crew remained on board.

The frigate's 137 crew members were evacuated amid fears that the warship may sink.

Eirik Walle, of Norway's rescue centre, told Norwegian news agency NTB the collision smashed a hole in the side of the warship.

Norway's emergency services have confirmed the Helge Instad is sinking as there is "no control over the leak".

The incident was reported to the Accident Investigation Board (AIBN), which said on its website that it would conduct an investigation in collaboration with the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN).

Sola TS was loaded with crude oil and was heading to Britain.

Update: Frigate understood to sustain stb bow hull breach with massive water ingress, she's said to develop heavy bow tilt.

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"A small oil slick from the frigate has been detected, but nothing large", the official added.

Johan Marius Ly of the Norwegian Coast Guard said the 442ft frigate, which had recently taken part in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drill Trident Juncture, was listing, adding: "We have been told that there is a leak from the frigate".

The KNM Helge Ingstad frigate took on water and was at risk of sinking.

In the early afternoon, the grey 5,000-tonne vessel was listing heavily on its side, its helicopter landing pad at the back of the ship lying largely under the water, television images showed. Tanker said not to suffer serious damages, as of 0530 UTC she was near collision site, moving in northern direction at dead slow speed, escorted by tug. Launched in 2007, the warship is named after the famous Norwegian Arctic explorer.

"The armed forces is now reviewing all the means available in the region to assist the KNM Helge Ingstad", Lieutenant Colonel Ivar Moen told AFP.

Helge Instad had been taking part in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drill Trident Juncture.

He declined to comment on what would happen to the weapons on board the ship.

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