Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Norwegian frigate could sink after being rammed in harbor

Helge Ingstad: Warship collides with tanker in fjord Oil tanker & Norwegian Navy frigate ‘collide’ off country’s coast, 7 reported injured
Pablo Mccormick | 09 November, 2018, 12:27

The collision occurred as the warship was heading back to its base, VG says, citing military spokesperson Vegard Finberg.

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

The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Instad is in danger of sinking after being rammed by an oil tanker while returning from the NATO Trident Juncture exercise, according to The Associated Press.

The warship is now in danger of sinking, while the tanker, named the Sola TS, is slightly damaged and did not spill oil.

Eight people were injured in the crash and the warship's crew of 127 have been evacuated from the listing vessel.

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Eirik Walle, with the rescue center, told Norwegian news agency NTB that the collision caused an opening in the frigate's hull and "it is taking in more water than they can pump out".

Pictures show the 5,290 ton, 440 foot frigate lying low in the water as it sinks beneath the waves.

The Maltese oil tanker was carrying about 625,000 barrels of crude, but officials said none spilled after Thursday's collision.

Some 10,000 litres of helicopter fuel from the frigate's tanks leaked into the sea, Johan Marius Ly of the Norwegian Coast Guard said.

"The KNM Helge Ingstad suffered damage above and below the waterline". The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board, the Defense Accident Investigation Board and the Maltese Marine Safety Investigation Unit are all investing the incident.

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

The 134-metre long frigate, built in Spain in 2009, has a helipad platform on its stern.

A nearby oil terminal where the Maltese vessel had just loaded its cargo was closed to traffic on Monday, in turn leading to a halt in production at five oil fields in the North Sea, according to business daily Dagens Naeringsliv.

NATO's "Trident Juncture", the largest military exercise since the end of the Cold War, launched in Norway on October 25 and is due to run until November 7.

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