Helge Ingstad: Warship collides with tanker in fjord

Oil tanker & Norwegian Navy frigate ‘collide’ off country’s coast 7 reported injured

He said the frigate had been pushed by towboats into shallow water where it could not sink fully. Its crew of 137 had been evacuated, rescue leader Ben Vikoeren at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway said.

Greek Aframax tanker SOLA TS collided with Norway Navy frigate HNOMS HELGE INGSTAD in the morning Nov 8, probably around 0300 UTC, in North sea north of Bergen, Norway. 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.

Norwegian news agency NTB is reporting that the collision tore a hole in the frigate's side, and that it is taking in more water than can be pumped 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.

The country's coast guard said meanwhile it had detected small diesel spills in the water and it was trying to contain further pollution.

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.

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 frigate has been listing dangerously.

The Helge Instad is 442 feet long and was built by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia in 2009. The collision is believed to have happened when the vessel was leaving Sture Terminal, 50 kilometers northwest of Bergen, carrying 625,000 liters of crude oil.

The £500 million Helge Instad was launched in 2007 and is one of five Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates operated by Norway.

It was NATO's largest exercise in decades, involving 50,000 troops, 10,000 combat vehicles, 65 vessels, and 250 aircraft.

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

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