All torpedoes now removed from Helge Ingstad, other munitions remain

The Royal Norwegian Navy has removed all torpedoes remaining in the sunken Helge Ingstad frigate now sits at the bottom of the Hjeltefjorden between the port city of Bergen and the North Sea, following a collision with an oil tanker in November. Military divers removed around half of the frigate’s missiles last week, taking them inland to be destroyed at a landfill site. Some ammunition remains on board the sunken vessel, which will need to be reviewed before the remains can be raised.

The tanker, which was carrying around 625,000 barrels of crude oil, was mostly undamaged. A subsequent investigation revealed that the sinking of the $450m frigate was entirely avoidable, as were some of the consequences.

The crash tore through the Helge Ingstad, flooding its engine rooms. The investigation found that the rapid spread of floodwater through the vessel was a “safety critical issue” that applied to the Norwegian Navy’s four other frigates.

Crane Rambiz has now completed preparation of the lifting chains at the Helge Ingstad. The crane returned to Hanøytangen late on February 6th to load the lifting equipment. Units will be mobilized to the casualty site when the weather conditions permit. The lifting operation will require six days of stable weather, with wind below 10 m/s and wave height below 0.5 meters.