Malta-registered oil tanker collides into Norwegian warship

Lamar Ellis
November 10, 2018

The frigate is believed to be the KNM Helge Ingstad, which took part in NATO's massive Trident Juncture 2018 wargames.

A Norwegian warship was repeatedly warned of its collision course with a Maltese oil tanker before then hitting it in a fjord, the BBC has been told.

The incident was reported to the Accident Investigation Board (AIBN), which said on its website that it would conduct an investigation in collaboration with the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN).

The navy said the frigate is still not stable and that efforts are underway to secure her. Damages on the ship were also recorded with underwater cameras and all actions, which include recovery plans and oil spill containment, are coordinated with the Norwegian coastal administration.

The tanker, which had an uninjured crew of 23, returned to port for inspection. The Ingstad had been participating in Trident Juncture-18, NATO's largest exercise in many years.

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A video of the aftermath of a collision between Norwegian frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad and oil tanker Sola TS was recently made public on social media.

According to Tu.no, seven people were lightly injured in the collision in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen in the early hours of Thursday.

The Equinor Sture oil shipment terminal, from which the oil tanker left fully loaded, was closed as a precautionary measure but reopened Thursday.

Norway is the biggest oil producer in Western Europe.

The warship is now in danger of sinking, while the tanker, named the Sola TS, is slightly damaged and did not spill oil. The largest contributors to Grane Blend are the Grane, Ivar Aasen and Edvard Grieg oil fields. The ship was put up on the rocky shore two to three miles of the Sture Terminal. The terminal, however, is linked by pipeline to the Kollsnes Gas Terminal, a major processor of North Sea and Norwegian Sea gas destined for receiving terminals in Germany and Belgium. An unnamed source familiar with the situation separately said production had also been shut down at Edvard Grieg.

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