Norwegian frigate evacuated after being hit by tanker

The route of the tanker “Sola TS” after the collision. The blue dots are ships taking part in the rescue operation. Screenshot from

The KNM Helge Ingstad had recently taken part in NATO's Trident Juncture military exercise, which centred on defense of Norway. Eight navy personnel are said to be injured, including two flown to regional hospital, Haukland, but the tanker Sola's 23 crew were all evacuated safely.

"Due to the damage to the frigate it was moved to a safe place", Nato's Allied Maritime Command said in a statement.

The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Instad is in danger of sinking after being rammed by an oil tanker while returning from the NATO Trident Juncture exercise, according to The Associated Press.

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

"A small oil slick from the frigate has been detected, but nothing large", the official added. The tanker, now in port undergoing inspection, was not damaged in the incident and none of its 23-member crew injured. The Helge Ingstad's 137-man crew was evacuated.

The Sture oil terminal and the Kollsnes gas processing plant were shut down as a precautionary measure.

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Tanker said not to suffer serious damages, as of 0530 UTC she was near collision site, moving in northern direction at dead slow speed, escorted by tug. The collision is believed to have happened when the vessel was leaving Sture Terminal, 50 kilometers northwest of Bergen, carrying 625,000 liters of crude oil.

The warship is now in danger of sinking, while the tanker, named the Sola TS, is slightly damaged and did not spill oil.

The 134-meter-long (440 foot) frigate was returning to its home port of Haakonsvern, southwest of Bergen, when the incident occurred. Both Norway's Accident Investigation Board and Malta's Marine Safety Investigation Unit will investigate the collision, as the tanker was registered in Malta. The warship was launched in November 2007.

A Norwegian frigate collided with an oil tanker in the dark on her way home from the largest North Atlantic Treaty Organisation war game since the end of the Cold War.

An image of the ship tipped to one side was posted with the comment.

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