Navy frigate rammed by tanker in har­bour

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - WORLD NEWS - Jan M. Olsen

COPEN­HAGEN — a Nor­we­gian Navy frigate car­ry­ing a crew of 137 was rammed by a tanker while in a har­bour on the coun­try’s west coast Thurs­day, tear­ing a large hole in its side, the mil­i­tary said.

eight peo­ple on the KNm helge in­stad were slightly in­jured — two of whom were taken to a nearby hospi­tal — in the 4 a.m. ac­ci­dent in sture, north of bergen, said rear adm. Nils an­dreas sten­soenes, the head of Nor­way’s Navy.

The crew was evac­u­ated amid fears the ves­sel would sink. The ship, which had re­cently taken part in the vast NaTo drill Tri­dent Junc­ture in Nor­way, is “strongly list­ing,” sten­soenes said at a news con­fer­ence Thurs­day af­ter­noon. The frigate was ly­ing in the water al­most on its side with its stern un­der the water.

The mal­tese-flagged tanker, sola Ts, was not dam­aged and its 23-man crew re­mained on board. The ship­ping site sysla re­ported that the tanker had been loaded with crude oil and was on its way to bri­tain.

sten­soenes said the cause of the ac­ci­dent was not clear and the Navy would wait for the find­ings of Nor­way’s ac­ci­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion board. ear­lier re­ports had said a tow­boat was also in­volved in the ac­ci­dent, but sten­soenes de­nied this.

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. The fuel was ex­pected to evap­o­rate quickly.

The 134-me­tre long frigate, built in spain in 2009, has a he­li­pad plat­form on its stern.

sten­soenes said the frigate had been pushed by tow­boats into shal­low waters where it could not sink fully. “We are in a se­cu­rity phase for the time be­ing,” he added. he de­clined to com­ment on what would hap­pen to the weapons on board the ship.

The frigate is part of a NaTo fleet in the atlantic and the al­liance has been in­formed of the ac­ci­dent, he told re­porters.

Nor­way’s largest oil and gas com­pany, equinor, for­merly known as sta­toil, said it shut down non-emer­gency ac­tiv­i­ties at the sture ter­mi­nal where the col­li­sion oc­curred “as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure.”

The ac­ci­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion board added that be­cause the tanker is mal­tese-reg­is­tered, the marine safety in­ves­ti­ga­tion Unit (msiU) of malta will also par­tic­i­pate in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Marit hOMMeDal/GettY iMaGes

A Nor­we­gian Nave frigate takes on water af­ter a col­li­sion with a tanker on Thurs­day near Bergen, Nor­way.

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