Navy divers arrive at KNM «Helge Ingstad»
The weather improved earlier than expected in the area where KNM «Helge Ingstad» capsized. Thus, preparations for the salvage of the Frigate can continue on Saturday.
The Frigate has been stable for the past 24 hours, and Press Officer in the Armed Forces, Sven Halvorsen, tells NTB that a team of divers travelled to the Sture terminal on Saturday morning.
– I can confirm that they have already started the diving operation, which is one of several measures to prepare the salvage of the Frigate, he says around noon.
The frigate is stranded in the Hjelte Fjord in Øygarden after it collided with the oil tanker «Sola TS» on Thursday, November 8th. Currently, it is still unclear when work on the actual lifting of the Frigate can begin.
– There is a lot of technical issues around this that needs to be clarified – and I do not want to wonder when we can start with the actual salvage, Halvorsen continues.
Must be emptied
The vessel is not lifted anytime soon. The vessel is filled with nearly 10,000 cubic meters of seawater, and a large part of this must be pumped out first, the Project Manager for the Salvage Operation, Commander Captain Arild Øydegard tells VG.
– We have great lifting capacity, but not to lift both a vessel of about 5,000 deadweight tonnes and another 10,000 metric ton of seawater. So this we have to get rid of underway – we have estimated that we might have 500 cubic metres left when we lift it up, he says.
There is also some fuel left in the ship, and the Armed Forces will continuously assess whether they will drain more.
When the ship is aligned in a horizontal position and emptied of sufficient water, the two crane barges «Rambiz» and «Gulliver» will cooperate to lift the Frigate onto a floating dock before transporting it to the Haakonsvern Naval base in Bergen.
The hull is intact
There is still no final decision as to whether the Frigate may be repaired. According to VG, two working groups have been established to assess that question; one who will try to salvage the material on board and one who is planning a possible repairing.
Øydegard announces that the hull is relatively intact, except for the 45-metre tear that the Frigate sustained in the collision with «Sola TS».
– We have damage to the rudder and such, but this is a warship which hull has tolerated the stresses so far, Øydegard explains.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today