Norwegian submarine-hunting frigate rammed by Maltese oil tanker

Cheryl Sanders
November 9, 2018

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.

The frigate is believed to be the KNM Helge Ingstad, which took part in NATO's massive Trident Juncture 2018 wargames.

All were evacuated after the warship collided with the Malta-flagged Solar TS tanker, which carried 23 people.

"The frigate lost steering control and drove onto land with 137 people onboard", Eirik Valle of the Norwegian Coastguard told NRK. The collision tore a large hole in the hull of the vessel, which began taking on water and had to be pushed into shallow coastal waters by tugboats to keep it from sinking.

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


The incident was reported to the Accident Investigation Board (AIBN), which said on its website that it would conduct an investigation in collaboration with the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN).

The Maltese oil tanker was carrying about 625,000 barrels of crude, but officials said none spilled after Thursday's collision.

The frigate Helge Ingstad, now listing heavily to its port side, is loaded with torpedoes and weapons systems said to be unstable as a result of the collision.

Production at a number of surrounding North Sea oil and gas facilities was temporarily stopped after the collision as a precautionary measure but has now resumed.

An unnamed official told AFP news agency that a "small oil slick" had been detected from the frigate.


"It took on a lot of water and there is a real danger that it sinks where it is", the official said.

The 62,000-ton tanker suffered minor damages and was towed to the terminal.

Pictures show water has also overwhelmed the frigate's helicopter platform on its stern.

An image of the ship tipped to one side was posted with the comment.


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