Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad (F313) collided with the Malta-flagged oil tanker Sola TS at around 4 a.m. local time on Thursday (10 p.m. EST Wednesday) near the Equinor’s Sture oil terminal. The collision resulted in eight minor injuries on the warship.
Officials now are racing to save Helge Ingstad from sinking into the deep water just off the rocky edge of the fjord, after tugs pushed the 5,0000-ton frigate ashore to prevent the ship from sinking while the crew of 137 was evacuated.
According to a video released from the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the ship was listing on the rocks on its starboard side with its stern low in the water and surrounded by tugs. Photos released by the Norwegian Navy show a long gouge from amidship along the starboard quarter of the frigate.
“The Norwegian Armed Forces are working with the Norwegian Coastal Authority to address the situation,” read a statement from NATO Allied Maritime Command.
The frigate was conducting navigation training with other elements of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 in the fjord following the Nov. 7 conclusion of the Trident Juncture 2018 exercise, NATO said. Helga Ingstad collided with the fully loaded Sola TS just after the tanker had departed the oil terminal. Ships from the group remain nearby to support the recovery efforts as needed, NATO said.