Friday, 16 November, 2018


Race to stop Norway frigate sinking after oil tanker collision

Oil tanker & Norwegian Navy frigate ‘collide’ off country’s coast, 7 reported injured Noway frigate sinking: 'No control' over leak of KNM Helge Instad | Daily Star
Bennie Garza | 09 November, 2018, 12:28

Rear Admiral Stensoenes said the frigate had been pushed by towboats into shallow waters where it could not sink fully.

The 137 people on board the KNM Helge Ingstad frigate, which was returning from NATO's Trident Juncture exercises, have been evacuated after the collision with the Sola TS tanker, the army said.

Norwegian navy frigate KNM Helge Instad was crashed into by the other vessel and is rapidly taking on water.

Meanwhile, the 62,000-tonne oil tanker, which was flying the Maltese flag but is owned by a Greek shipping company, was only slightly damaged and none of the 23 people on board were injured, the rescue centre 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.

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".

It had recently taken part in NATO's large-scale Trident Juncture military exercises, where it was engaged in submarine hunting maneuvers.

The Sture export oil terminal, as well as the Kollsnes gas plant and several offshore oilfields, were shut down as a precaution but resumed operation on Thursday afternoon, Equinor said in a statement.

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

Some 10,000 liters (2,642 gallons) of ship's fuel and helicopter fuel is reported to have leaked into the sea. The police, which investigate marine accidents in Norway, have cordoned off the area around the stricken frigate for fear of explosions.

The two vessels collided at about 04:00 local time (03:00 GMT) as the frigate was sailing inner fjords for training, officials say.

The tanker had set sail from Equinor's Sture oil terminal with a cargo of North Sea crude.

"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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