Norwegian Frigate Intentionally Ran Aground After Tanker Collision. A Norwegian warship was heavily damaged in a collision with a Maltese oil tanker in the North Sea off the coast of Norway. Watch this remarkable time-lapse video of the tugs working to keep the ship on the rocky shoal as it sinks.
The Aegis combat system equipped Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad had a collision with the oil tanker Sola and suffered significant damage.
The damage was so bad that the captain ordered the ship’s crew to run the vessel aground near the entry to a fjord to keep it from sinking.
The photo shows the vessel grounded and listing badly with its stern sitting very low in the water and a giant gash running down the starboard side of its hull.
Seven of the frigate’s 127 person crew are reported injured at this time and everyone has been evacuated over fears of the ship sinking and/or rolling over. The tanker was not seriously damaged and its crew of 23 remains aboard as the investigation gets underway. The accident happened at 4 am local time.
The 137 people on board the KNM Helge Ingstad frigate, which was returning from NATO’s Trident Juncture exercises, were evacuated after the collision with the Sola TS tanker, the military said.
The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Instad is in danger of sinking after being rammed by an oil tanker while returning from the NATO Trident Juncture exercise.The ship, a Fridtjof Nansen-class vessel, was hit by the Maltese-flagged oil tanker Sola TS around 4 a.m pic.twitter.com/mAhH7708oL
— Hukum (@reachanshul) November 8, 2018
The 440 foot long Helge Ingstad displaces 5,290 tons and is one of five in the Fridtjof Nansen class that serve with the Royal Norwegian Navy.
They are considered the most advanced combat vessels in the service’s inventory and are equipped with an eight-cell Mk41 vertical launch system (VLS) that can hold up to 32 RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs), eight Naval Strike Missiles in their own launchers, four torpedo tubes armed with Stingray torpedoes, a 76mm deck gun, as well as other smaller caliber weapons. An NH-90 helicopter is also commonly embarked.
These ships were designed with expansion in mind and have space for multiple types of additional armaments, like another eight cell Mk41 VLS.
There is some sort of fuel leak around the ship, with Johan Marius Ly of the Norwegian Coast Guard stating:
“We have been told that there is a leak from the frigate. It should be a helicopter fuel, but the extent of leakage is unknown.”
A large local oil terminal that filled the Sola with crude before the incident took place has also shut down, likely as a precautionary measure and to deal with the investigation surrounding the tanker’s actions just prior to the collision.
An official NATO statement says that the ship was executing a navigational exercise alongside Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and that “the group was sailing in and around the Fjords, following their participation in exercise Trident Juncture 2018 which concluded on November 7th. The rest of SNMG1’s ships are positioned nearby at sea in the event that further assistance is required.”
After the collision, it became clear that the ship was quickly taking on water. The damage may have limited the ship’s ability to steer, but it still seems as if a grounding attempt was made by its crew. Once the ship was evacuated with just eight onboard receiving minor injuries, tugboats acted fast to push the vessel even closer to a rocky shoal so that it would not slip off the rocks and sink. It is now lying on its side partially submerged.