Tanker collides with Norwegian frigate

Helge Ingstad: Warship collides with tanker in fjord

A Norwegian Navy frigate was rammed by a tanker while it was docked in a harbor on the country's west coast Thursday, the military said. Its crew of 137 had been evacuated, rescue leader Ben Vikoeren at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway said.

The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad, right, after a collision with the tanker Sola TS, in Oygarden, Norway, on November 8, 2018.

Update: 0700 UTC - according to latest reports frigate was taken to shallow waters to avoid sinking, water ingress is incontrollable.

The tanker, the Sola TS, was only slightly damaged and it appears that it did not spill oil.

Eirik Walle, of Norway's rescue centre, told Norwegian news agency NTB that the collision caused an opening in the frigate's hull and "it is taking in more water than they can pump out".

Stensoenes said the ship was "strongly listing" - or leaning to one side - and that it had been pushed by towboats into shallow water, where it can not fully sink. The Maltese-flagged ship was loaded with crude oil en route to Britain.

Norway's Accident Investigation Board, which has opened an inquiry, had initially said a tugboat had also been involved in the collision but the Navy later denied that.

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The sites are operated by Equinor (formerly Statoil), one of the world's largest oil and gas companies.

Images of the frigate published online and broadcast on television showed the frigate was partly underwater and had been moved near the shore.

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.

Firefighters have also confirmed the frigate is listing as it takes on water.

The Helge Instad is 442 feet long and was built by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia in 2009.

The Sture terminal is a major tanker port, with nearly 25% of Norway's oil production passing through the facility.

"According to our assessments, there's no reason to believe that anything, like an accident, could happen with the weapons" on board, he said.

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