Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Race to stop Norway frigate sinking after oil tanker collision

6d669087 Helge Ingstad: Warship collides with tanker in fjord
Deanna Wagner | 09 November, 2018, 12:27

According to Norway media reports, frigate sustained heavy damages, water ingress, probably in danger of sinking, all 137 crew evacuated, 7 were slightly injured. Eight injured crew members were taken off as well as the other 129 on board.

Nato's Allied Maritime Command said in a statement: "Due to the damage to the frigate it was moved to a safe place".

Some 10,000 litres of helicopter fuel from the frigate's tanks leaked into the sea, Johan Marius Ly of the Norwegian Coast Guard said.

The 134-meter (442-foot) long frigate, built in Spain in 2009, has a helipad platform on its stern.

Several offshore rigs that were pumping their production into the Sture terminal, a major tanker port for crude oil, temporarily suspended the flow, Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv reported.

Norway has been forced to close the Sture Oil Terminal near Bergen and has started closing down the nearby Kollsness gas-and-condensate terminal - a lifeline of heating gas to Europe - after an early morning collision between a $440-million frigate and an oil tanker.

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

The £500 million Helge Instad was launched in 2007 and is one of five Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates operated by Norway. The United States' nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman will also be taking part. Norway has grown increasingly nervous about neighboring Russian Federation since it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

To help ensure that "sensitive areas" like hospitals, schools and drinking water sites aren't affected during the exercise, Norway printed 1.6 million maps for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops to use.

The Norwegian Armed Forces are leading the recovery operation in close co-operation with the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

The exercise area encompasses large areas of land, sea and air space - with naval operations stretching along the Norwegian coast and down to Scotland.