Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Oil tanker rams into Norwegian frigate, leaving eight injured

“KNM Helge Ingstad” at port in Hammerfest a few years ago “KNM Helge Ingstad” at port in Hammerfest a few years ago
Jeannette Daniel | 09 November, 2018, 02:11

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

The Navy quickly evacuated all the crew except for 10 essential staff members to prevent a possible fuel leak. Eight navy personnel are said to be injured, including two flown to regional hospital, Haukland, but the tanker Sola's 23 crew were all evacuated safely.

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.

It was being towed out of the harbour when it somehow managed to ram the frigate.

Eirik Walle, with Norway's 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".

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.

More news: Richard Neal: Democrats plan to ask for Trump tax returns

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

"It took on a lot of water and there is a real danger that it will sink where it is", an official for the Sola rescue centre told AFP.

"The armed forces is now reviewing all the means available in the region to assist the KNM Helge Ingstad", Lieutenant Colonel Ivar Moen said. Efforts are being made now to prevent the warship, "Helge Ingstad" from sinking.

The frigate had recently taken part in a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation exercise.

The ship had previously been part of an escort convoy which seized chemical weapons from Syria back in 2013.

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