Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Norwegian frigate could sink after being rammed in harbor

The route of the tanker “Sola TS” after the collision. The blue dots are ships taking part in the rescue operation. Screenshot from The route of the tanker “Sola TS” after the collision. The blue dots are ships taking part in the rescue operation. Screenshot from
Steven Clarke | 09 November, 2018, 12:28

Update: Frigate understood to sustain stb bow hull breach with massive water ingress, she's said to develop heavy bow tilt. All crew have been evacuated from the warship.

Greek Aframax tanker SOLA TS collided with Norway Navy frigate HNOMS HELGE INGSTAD in the morning Nov 8, probably around 0300 UTC, in North sea north of Bergen, Norway.

Although the tanker was undamaged, the £465 million frigate took on large quantities of water and was in danger of sinking when the captain took her into shallower water before running her aground.

The warship is now in danger of sinking, while the tanker, named the Sola TS, is slightly damaged and did not spill oil. Seven people were injured, local media says.

Eirik Walle, of Norway's rescue centre, told Norwegian news agency NTB the collision smashed a hole in the side of the warship. The coastal water where the stricken vessel lies is normally prone to heavy seas, but unseasonably calm conditions prevail.

Sture, a major export oil terminal, was shut down temporarily as a precautionary measure.

The 62,000-tonne tanker sustained only slight damage and is waiting to be towed to a nearby oil terminal.

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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.

Norway's Accident Investigation Board said a towboat was also involved in the accident.

The Helge Instad is 442 feet long and was built by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia in 2009.

No oil spill has been reported from the tanker, which was sailing from Equinor's Sture terminal in Øygarden.

The £500 million Helge Instad was launched in 2007 and is one of five Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates operated by Norway.

Images of the frigate published online and broadcast on television showed the frigate was partly underwater and had been moved near the shore.

"According to our assessments, there's no reason to believe that anything, like an accident, could happen with the weapons" on board, he said.

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