Malta-registered oil tanker collides with Norwegian warship

Royal Norwegian Navy frigate collided with Maltese oil tanker in a fjord in Norway as it was returning from NATO exercise Trident Juncture

A Royal Norwegian Navy frigate has collided with a Malta-registered oil tanker in a fjord in Norway as it was returning from NATO exercise Trident Juncture. 

The incident occurred at 4:26am (local time) on 8 November in Hjeltefjorden, north of Sotra, Norwegian Armed Forces said. 

After colliding with the Malta-flagged tanker Sola TS and the tug Tenax, the frigate started taking on water. 

Eight sailors suffered minor injuries and have been taken care of. All 137 crew members of the frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad were evacuated. 

Aerial footage taken by Norwegian coastal administration aircraft during the day shows the frigate partially submerged sitting on her starboard side on the rocks. The ship’s captain decided to beach the ship to prevent it from sinking in deep water. 

The navy said the frigate is still not stable and that efforts are underway to secure her. Damages on the ship were also recorded with underwater cameras and all actions, which include recovery plans and oil spill containment, are coordinated with the Norwegian coastal administration.

No oil spill has been reported from the tanker, which was sailing from Equinor’s Sture terminal in Øygarden. In connection with the collision, Equinor decided to “gradually shut down operations at Sture.”

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

The Sture terminal and the Kollsnes plant resumed operations Thursday afternoon after being shut down in connection with the collision between the frigate and the tanker. 

An investigation into the causes of the incident will be launched today, in collaboration with the Defense Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN) and the Marine Safety Investigation Unit (MSIU) from Malta. 

Helge Ingstad, the Fridtjof-Nansen class frigate commissioned in 2007, was en route to Haakonsvern naval base.

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