Race to stop Norway frigate sinking after oil tanker collision

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2018

A Norwegian navy frigate has been evacuated after it was hit by a tanker while docked in a harbour, the military has said.

According to reports from the rescue crews, seven people have been lightly injured in the collision, and there has been no oil spilled from the tanker, which suffered a lot less damage than the frigate, which was returning from a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military drill.

According to Rystad Energy, "The frigate Helge Ingstad sustained severe damage in the collision, which occurred only about 15 minutes after the tanker TS Sola, carrying approximately 600,000 barrels of oil, set sail under tow from Equinor's Sture terminal".

"The KNM Helge Ingstad suffered damage above and below the waterline".

Norwegian Navy frigate HNOMS HELGE INGSTAD (F313), displacement 5290, commissioned 2009, complement 120, armament missiles, torpedoes, guns, helicopter.

"It was therefore made a decision to force it up on (nearby) rocks", he said.

The frigate was lying in the water nearly on its side with its stern under the water.

Rear Admiral Stensoenes said the frigate had been pushed by towboats into shallow waters where it could not sink fully. Its crew of 137 had been evacuated, rescue leader Ben Vikoeren at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway said.

"We are in a security phase for the time being", he said. The alliance has been informed of the accident, he said.

"The leaked amount has not been determined", it said.

No leak from that vessel was reported.

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

Heavy shipping traffic is the norm at Sture, where a quarter of all oil produced in oil-rich Norway is processed.

The country's coast guard said meanwhile it had detected small diesel spills in the water and it was trying to contain further pollution.

Norway's Accident Investigation Board, which has opened an inquiry, had initially said a tugboat had also been involved in the collision but the Navy later denied that.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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