Norwegian Naval Officer Pleads Innocence In 2018 Warship-Tanker Collision Case

On Monday, January 16, the Norwegian naval officer in charge of the warship Helge Ingstad denied any negligence charges for the collision of his vessel with Sola TS crude carrier, which shut down Norway’s petroleum production in 2018.

The collision in one of the critical locations of the oil export terminal in the North Sea didn’t lead to any oil leakage but left Ingstad frigate in terrible condition. One that would require an expenditure of $1.3 billion says a 2019 Norwegian armed forces report.

The incident highlighted the gaps in the Norwegian navy’s assessment systems and a lack of proper training, all of which have led to severe safety gaps. This was acknowledged by the defence ministry when they paid a 10 million crown fine.

Crude Carrier-Warship Collision, Norwegian Naval Officer
Image for representation purposes only.

The Ingstad crew revealed how they tried to save the ship after pouring water in their cabins woke them up in the middle of the night along with the alarm sounds. All 137 of them suffered escaped unharmed with some minor injuries.

The naval officer who was on the bridge that day said he was being singled out and wasn’t negligent in his duties. He is waiting to tell his side of the story when the trial happens on March 10.

However, recordings from the two ships’ interactions say otherwise since the tanker asked the warship to change its course to avoid a collision. The naval boat didn’t heed it for fear of hitting the shore.

The investigation of the incident revealed that the carrier was so brightly lit that the warship’s crew couldn’t differentiate it from the terminal nearby. This was confirmed by a video recording showing the tanker in sparks while it collided with the naval ship.

The warship faced a tearing gash, while the crude carrier had minor damages.

References: Reuters, US News

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