The following was issued by NATO regarding an incident with the Norwegian frigate, HNoMS Helge Ingstad.
First, a bit of background. Yesterday, while returning from NATO exercises, the frigate collided with the Maltese flagged tanker Sola TS and began taking on water. The ship was deliberately run aground in an attempt to prevent her sinking and allow for the evacuation of the crew. Seven sailors were injured in the incident and by late morning she had developed a severe angle of list to starboard side with most of the stern submerged.
“HNoMS Helge Ingstad was involved in a collision with the Maltese oil tanker Sola TS in Norwegian waters around 0400 this morning (8 Nov) while sailing inner Fjords for navigation training.
Due to the damage to the frigate it was moved to a safe place and the crew was evacuated in a professional manner. There are no reports of damages or leaks from the oil tanker and no report of serious injuries, though eight crewmembers are being treated for minor injuries.
The Norwegian Armed Forces are working with the Norwegian Coastal Authority to address the situation. The Norwegian frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad is part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1). The group was sailing in and around the Fjords, following their participation in exercise Trident Juncture 2018 which concluded on November 7th.
The rest of SNMG1’s ships are positioned nearby at sea in the event that further assistance is required.”