Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Oil tanker rams into Norwegian frigate, leaving eight injured

Oil tanker & Norwegian Navy frigate ‘collide’ off country’s coast 7 reported injured HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen
Melinda Barton | 09 November, 2018, 12:28

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.

Update: 0700 UTC - according to latest reports frigate was taken to shallow waters to avoid sinking, water ingress is incontrollable.

The collision occurred as the warship was heading back to its base, VG says, citing military spokesperson Vegard Finberg.

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.

Aerial footage taken by Norwegian coastal administration aircraft during the day shows the frigate partially submerged sitting on her starboard side on the rocks.

It was being towed out of the harbour when it somehow managed to ram the frigate. Both Norway's Accident Investigation Board and Malta's Marine Safety Investigation Unit will investigate the collision, as the tanker was registered in Malta.

Coast guard deputy director Johan Marius Ly said helicopter fuel has leaked from the frigate. "The frigate moved to an inshore location and was listing heavily at 11:30am, amidst emergency efforts to prevent the vessel from sinking".

The sites are operated by Equinor (formerly Statoil), one of the world's largest oil and gas companies.

No oil spill has been reported from the tanker, which was sailing from Equinor's Sture terminal in Øygarden.

A small oil slick has surrounded the ship following the collision.

The tanker was not damaged, and its 23-strong crew remains onboard, according to AP.

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

Built in Spain in 2009, the KNM Helge Ingstad participated in chemical disarmament operations in Syria between December 2013 and May 2014.

The Trident Juncture 18 live drills concluded on November 7 in Norway. He declined to comment on what would happen to the weapons on board the ship.