A maritime blunder then a ruinous rescue attempt has left a multi-million dollar warship under NATO command almost entirely submerged in a Norwegian fjord.
A large hole was torn into the side of KNM Helge Ingstad when it collided with a Malta-registered oil tanker, Sola TS, in the early hours of November 8.
The frigate, one of five in the Scandinavian country’s navy, had been moving around inner fjords in western Norway for navigation training before it collided with the 250-meter long tanker (820 ft) that was sailing out of an oil terminal.
While military crew reportedly drove the vessel up on underwater rocks in order to prevent it from sinking, the tanker emerged relatively unscathed.
But efforts to move the 5,500-ton warship to a safe place went catastrophically wrong this week after cables attached to hold it in place snapped.
Now all that remains above the waterline is the frigate’s top, antennas and radar, leading local media to speculate how a ship designed for war failed to avoid a slow moving 150,000-ton tanker.
Norway’s military has remained tight lipped about the situation, which injured eight of the 137 people on board. Navy communications officer Torill Herland told CNN that whatever occurred during the accident near Bergen is now “police work.”
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SOURCE: CNN, Lianne Kolirin and Tara John