Norwegian frigate evacuated after being hit by tanker

Blanche Robertson
November 9, 2018

"The damage was such that the frigate was no longer stable and was not able to float sufficiently", a Norwegian Navy officer, Sigurd Smith, told reporters.

Seven people were lightly injured in the collision in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen in the early hours of Thursday, rescuers say. The frigate's 137 crew members were evacuated amid fears that it may sink.

Tugs can be seen rushing to help the ship as they desperately try to save it.

The Helge Ingstad ran into Sola TS, a 250m Maltese-flagged tanker carrying about 625,000 barrels of crude oil, at 4am today.

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

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

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.

Firefighters have also confirmed the frigate is listing as it takes on water.

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A small oil slick has surrounded the ship following the collision.

The 62,000-tonne tanker received only slight damage and is waiting to be towed to a nearby oil terminal, the rescue centre official said.

"The armed forces are now reviewing all the means available in the region to assist the KNM Helge Ingstad", navy Lt. Col. Ivar Moen said.

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

Authorities said the Norwegian frigate, which carried military weapons, ran aground near Bergen after it started taking on water. The warship was launched in November 2007.

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.

Comment: Again, laden massive cargo ship collided with Navy frigate, similar to accidents which occurred with USA Nay frigates in Japan and off Singapore, recently.

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