The Armed Forces onboard the wrecked Frigate
Four persons from the Norwegian Armed Forces have been aboard the wrecked Frigate KNM Helge Ingstad. They have assisted in securing the vessel and retrieved data for the Norwegian Accident Commission.
This is the first time somebody has been on board the Frigate after the collision and evacuation during the night before Thursday. Until now, the Armed Forces have been working to secure the wreck with bolts and steel rods to stabilize it on the shoreline in the Øygarden archipelago near Bergen in Hordaland.
– We have had four persons on board to secure it with wires. They have also been on board to retrieve data from the navigation system and the ship’s engineering system. We will deliver this to the Norwegian Accident Commission to assist them in determining what happened, says Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy, Nils-Andreas Stensønes, to NRK.
On the bridge only
Military personnel have been on the ship’s bridge, of which a third is underwater. They have not been down below deck, according to Stensønes.
Now thorough preparation is required before the ship can be floated and transported to a dock.
– There is a lot left to be done before that. There may be a need for bilging, we may have to seal the hull and the wreck must be emptied of fuel and ammunition first. It’s hard to say how long that will take. We must move step by step and look at the extent of the damage and the challenges inside, Press and Information Officer in the Navy, Thomas Gjesdal, inform to NTB.
The final goal is to get the Frigate back “home” to the Norwegian Navy’s main base, Haakonsvern in Bergen, on a barge. but this can be several days away. It is uncertain whether KNM Helge Ingstad can ever be launched again, which will entail a loss of several billion Norwegian crowns.
Consequences for the Navy
The accident involving KNM Helge Ingstad has consequences for the Navy’s capacity, states Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives).
The Prime Minister tells TV 2 that she is relieved that none of the 137 crew members onboard the Frigate KNM Helge Ingstad were seriously injured. She emphasizes that the accident has consequences for Norway’s defence capacity.
– This is terribly difficult and a bad issue for the Armed Forces and the Navy in the future. It is clear that it is incredibly unfortunate that it happens to a Frigate and for a Naval Defence Nation like Norway. Such a major accident has an impact on our capacity in the future, Solberg tells TV 2.
The Prime Minister underlines that the Armed Forces will maintain high activity with the resources that are available.
Asking if Norway’s reputation is weakened by such an accident, Solberg replies that collisions and accidents associated with military activity occur in most countries. At the same time, she says that speculations revolving around the cause of the accident should not be broadcast before the investigation has been completed.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today