Norway frigate sinking: US Navy sailor on board ship


The Norwegian authorities’s Accident Investigation Board is investigating the incident and the US has been knowledgeable that the American sailor could also be a part of that investigation. The sailor has not been recognized and his actual position on the ship is unknown.

A big gap was torn into the aspect of KNM Helge Ingstad when it collided with a Malta-registered oil tanker, Sola TS, within the early hours of November 8.

The frigate, certainly one of 5 within the Scandinavian nation’s navy, had been transferring round internal fjords in western Norway for navigation coaching earlier than it collided with the 250-meter lengthy tanker (820 ft) that was crusing out of an oil terminal.

Whereas navy crew reportedly drove the vessel up on underwater rocks with a view to forestall it from sinking, the tanker emerged comparatively unscathed.

However efforts to maneuver the 5,500-ton warship to a protected place went catastrophically improper this week after cables hooked up to carry it in place snapped.

Now all that continues to be above the waterline is the frigate’s prime, antennas and radar, main native media to invest how a ship designed for struggle didn’t keep away from a slow-moving 150,000-ton tanker.

AnnKristin Salbuvik, a spokesperson for Norway’s Ministry of Protection, stated the American alternate officer was onboard Helge Ingstad as part of an alternate program between the 2 international locations’ navies.

Cdr. Kyle Raines of the US Navy’s sixth fleet stated in a press release: “The U.S. Navy has an officer assigned to the Personnel Trade Program (PEP) with Norway as a part of the crew of the KNM Helge Ingstad.

“Due to privateness pursuits, we’re not at liberty to establish this officer by title.”

The Washington Put up first reported the sailor might face questioning.

The KNM Helge Ingstad pictured on November 10, 2018 in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen. The frigate, which was returning from NATO's Trident Juncture exercises, was evacuated after the collision with the Sola TS tanker, Norway's army said.

Avoidable errors

Norway’s navy has remained tight lipped concerning the scenario, which injured eight of the 137 individuals on board. Navy communications officer Torill Herland informed CNN that no matter occurred through the accident close to Bergen is now “police work.”

A joint Norwegian and Maltese investigation is now additionally underway to try to decide the trigger.

Related circumstances involving US Navy destroyers over the past two years have been discovered to have been right down to avoidable errors, in accordance with Alex Pape, Editor of Jane’s Combating Ships, however he stated it’s too early to invest on this incident.

US Navy: 2 deadly summer collisions were 'avoidable'

“Warships, significantly floor combatants like frigates, are usually designed to resist a level of battle harm,” Pape informed CNN.

“Nevertheless, even for effectively protected warships, in the event that they maintain enough harm, significantly in adjoining compartments and under the waterline, the ensuing flooding could also be an excessive amount of for pumps and/or the crew’s harm management efforts to deal with, and the ship will checklist, capsize or sink.

Pape stated this specific incident means that along with a visual massive gap torn within the starboard aspect, there’s substantial harm to the hull close to or under the waterline, which then quickly flooded the aft compartments of the ship.

Heavy chains

The tried rescue of the frigate has definitely raised eyebrows.

Jan Vindenes is the final supervisor of Sotra Anchor & Chain, whose merchandise have been utilized in quite a few shipwreck recoveries, together with that of the Costa Concordia — the cruise ship which crashed into rocks off the coast of Italy in 2012, killing 32 individuals on board. He thinks chains might have been used to safe the frigate.

“They used some wire to safe the frigate however sadly it snapped. We are saying that chain is stronger and higher than wire.”

“We have now chain that may maintain 2,000 tonnes, and our chain was used to lift the Costa Concordia, which was very a lot larger than this frigate” he added.

A pricey crash

Provided that the frigate is certainly one of solely 5 operated by the Norwegian navy, its loss is prone to impression on nationwide and NATO operations. However the nation’s navy should fastidiously take into account the price of salvaging and repairing it for energetic service.

Pape informed CNN: “Curiously, if the ship just isn’t repaired, the discount of 1 ship that must be maintained, upgraded, manned and used over the remaining 20 years of its life will imply that price for the navy might go down in the long term, nevertheless with a lack of functionality.”

Pape estimates {that a} determination to salvage it, restore it, and return it to service would price tons of of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}. “The full price may very well be much like the price of a brand new ship.”

The monetary impression of the crash is prone to be felt effectively past the navy, because it triggered the shutdown of a North Sea crude export terminal, Norway’s largest fuel processing plant and several other offshore fields.

In whole, these 5 oil and fuel fields produce round 400 million Norwegian krone ($48 million) a day or 17 million krone ($2 million) an hour. Because the oil corporations pay 78 % taxes to the state for manufacturing, the two-day shutdown finally resulted in a considerable financial loss for the nation, nationwide broadcaster NRK reported.

Thankfully the oil tanker — which was carrying nearly 100 million liters of oil — was not severely broken within the accident. The Norwegian Coastal Administration stated it had cleaned up some diesel and helicopter gas that was spilled within the incident, however that has been largely contained, in accordance with Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace in Norway.

“A significant leakage would have constituted an unbelievable environmental catastrophe that simply might have impacted most of Norway’s western shoreline,” Gulowsen informed CNN.

The crash led to a small quantity of diesel and 10,000 liters of helicopter gas to leak from the vessel, which has largely been contained and recovered, he stated.

Gulowsen added nevertheless that, “the scenario just isn’t but steady and the vessel continues to be underneath water. The frigate had further 385,000 liters of marine diesel, however this has not leaked,”

The Norwegian Navy is now contemplating methods to lift the vessel, in accordance with the navy’s chief of workers, Admiral Nils Andreas Stensones.

“It’s extremely onerous for a navy to lose a vessel,” he informed AFP.

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