Norwegian submarine-hunting frigate rammed by Maltese oil tanker

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Aframax tanker in full load is restricted in maneuverability by definition, while frigate, by definition, is speedy maneuverable vehicle, supposedly always ready for risky situation, manned by a numerous crew.

The collision occurred in a western Norway fjord as the KNM Helge Ingstad was returning from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation exercises, with 137 people aboard.

Coast guard deputy director Johan Marius Ly said helicopter fuel has leaked from the frigate.

The frigate, built in Spain in 2009, has a helipad platform on its stern.

The 62,000-tonne tanker, which was flying the Maltese flag, was only slightly damaged and none of the 23 people on board were injured, the rescue centre said.

A rescue operation is underway after a Norwegian Navy frigate reportedly lost control and collided with an oil tanker off Norway's coast.

The Malta-registered Sola TS tanker sustained only slight damage, Aftenposten newspaper reported.

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Rear Admiral Stensoenes said the frigate had been pushed by towboats into shallow waters where it could not sink fully. The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board, the Defense Accident Investigation Board and the Maltese Marine Safety Investigation Unit are all investing the incident.

The Sture oil terminal, which has about 6 million barrels of underground oil storage capacity, is the receiving terminal for Oseberg Blend (105,000 bpd impacted) and Grane Blend (260,000 bpd impacted).

"We are in a security phase for the time being", he added.

Comment: Again, laden massive cargo ship collided with Navy frigate, similar to accidents which occurred with USA Nay frigates in Japan and off Singapore, recently. The oil terminal and nearby Kollsnes gas plant both shut down as a precaution.

The frigate was part of NATO's Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 (SNMG 1), which participated in the live portion of Exercise "Trident Juncture 2018", which ended on 7 November.

The KNM Helge Ingstad has been listing dangerously since Thursday's collision in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen.

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