Nordic nations

Norwegian frigate sinks one week after being rammed by tanker

  • Boat began listing heavily after a Maltese-flagged oil tanker slammed into it on Thursday, forcing the 137-member crew to abandon ship
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2018, 9:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2018, 9:17pm

Norway’s navy said one of its frigates has almost completely gone under water after an oil tanker rammed into it last week, tearing a large hole in its side.

Rear Admiral Nils Andreas Stensoenes, the head of Norway’s navy, said several of the wires used to stabilise the KNM Helge Instad snapped on Tuesday, causing the vessel to sink further into the fiord.

Only the top of the frigate with its radar and antennas was still above the waterline.

The 134-metre (442-foot) frigate began listing heavily after a Maltese-flagged oil tanker collided with it Thursday. Its 137 crew were evacuated.

The tanker was only slight damaged in the collision in Sture, north of Bergen.

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Stensoenes said plans remained to recover the vessel, but didn’t give details. Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.

“It is too early to say what kind of damages there are,” Commander Haavard Mathisen said.

Built in Spain in 2009, the frigate was part of a Nato fleet in the Atlantic, and had recently taken part in the vast Trident Juncture military drill in Norway.

The area surrounding the almost sunken frigate has been declared a military area.