KNM Helge Ingstad warned by the tanker
The Frigate KNM Helge Ingstad received clear warnings from the tanker «Sola TS» over the radio before the collision, according to an audio log that VG has gained access to.
The National newspaper also has radar images that show that the Frigate kept going at high speed and steered towards the tanker, despite repeated warnings that they were on a collision course.
The sound log shows that contact was made between the ships one minute before impact.
Without being sure if it is the Frigate or not, «Sola TS» queries whether it is «Helge Ingstad» that is heading towards them indeed. The warship acknowledges this about five seconds later.
In the time that follows, the tanker repeatedly implores the Frigate to alter its course towards starboard.
The answer from the Frigate is according to the audio log: «Then we get to close the breakers.»
«Turn starboard if it’s you that is approaching. You have …», «Sola TS», among other things, replies.
Later, the tanker issues the following message: « Helge Ingstad! Turn!», before they three seconds laters laconically state: «We’re colliding, then.»
The Frigate was travelling at 17 knots when the vessels collided.
The contact with «Helge Ingstad» becomes sporadic after that, and the alarms on the Frigate are blaring in the background. «We have sounded the alarm. Trying to gain control of the situastion», the Frigate informs the Watch Central, according to VG.
The newspaper has informed the Norwegian Armed Forces that they possess sound logs and radar images from the accident. The Armed Forces do not want to comment on that
NATO has verified that the Frigate was exercising.
In a news brief, the Defense Alliance writes that KNM Helge Ingstad «was sailing inshore for navigational purposes» before the incident.
– They were navigating with a Watch Officer and an assistant Watch Officer on the bridge. A Watch Officer is a fully qualified navigator, while the deputy is not fully trained yet, Commander at Sea and Communications Manager in the Royal Norwegian Navy, Torill Herland, explains to NRK.
The Norwegian Accident Commission has received data logs and electronic information from the wrecked Frigate and is working on analyzing the material.
Department Manager in the Commision does not know at present whether the data material contains sound recordings of what happened on the bridge.
– I’m not completely familiar with the content yet. These are things we are analyzing to see if it can help clarify the course of events. Some of that which we have received from the vessel are computer logs, he says to NTB.
On Saturday the Frigate was secured with steel wires and bolts, and four persons from the Armed Forces boarded it the first time since the incident. In the days ahead, the ship will be prepared for salvage.
Overview of the course of events
In parallel with the Accident Commission’s investigations, the police also investigate the case. Section Head in the West Police District, Frode Karlsen, informs Bergens Tidende that they have formed a good picture of the course of events related to the incident, but do not want to delve into specifics.
– On a general basis, investigation of accidents will be about to determine if it is caused by human error or technical failure – or a combination of those factors, he says.
– Is there reason to believe that the cause of this incident is due to a technical failure?
– That can’t be excluded, but we have no reason to believe that it is the case here, Karlsen tells the newspaper.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today