Published: Fri, November 09, 2018

Norwegian frigate could sink after being rammed in harbor

Norwegian frigate could sink after being rammed in harbor

KNM Helge Ingstad (F313) is one of the Norwegian navy's five frigates of the Fridtjof Nansen class.

The frigate's 137 crew members were evacuated amid fears that the warship may sink.

The military says the KNM Helge Ingstad could sink after the 4 a.m. Thursday collision in Sture, north of Bergen, Norway's second largest city.

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

There were no reports of damage or leaks from the oil tanker, identified as Sola TS.

Eight people were lightly injured in the collision in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen. The coastal water where the stricken vessel lies is normally prone to heavy seas, but unseasonably calm conditions prevail. The Maltese-flagged ship was loaded with crude oil en route to Britain.

The frigate was part of NATO's Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 (SNMG 1), which participated in the live portion of Exercise "Trident Juncture 2018", which ended on 7 November.

Some 10,000 liters (2,642 gallons) of ship's fuel and helicopter fuel is reported to have leaked into the sea.

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.

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

The Sture Oil Terminal processes about 500,000 barrels a day of North Sea oil, including oil from the Ivar Åssen, Grane and Edvard Grieg fields.

Stensoenes said the cause of the accident was not clear and the Navy would wait for the findings of Norway's Accident Investigation Board.

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.

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

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

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