Status of the investigation into the collision between the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad and the oil tanker Sola TS 27 February 2019 27.02.2019

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) and the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN) has continued its work to map the sequence of events in detail. This work has focused on internal communication and cooperation between the bridge crews on board the warship HNoMS Helge Ingstad and the crude oil tanker Sola TS, and Fedje Vessel Traffic Service. Analyses of various technical information have also been carried out. Some work still remains, particularly in relation to the time that elapsed from the moment of impact until everyone had been evacuated from the frigate. Data from the frigate's control system have been retrieved and contribute valuable information about this phase. Inspection and mapping of the vessel when it has been lifted are expected to yield further answers.

The investigation team follows the lifting of HNoMS Helge Ingstad and remain in close dialogue with the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) and the Royal Norwegian Navy to ensure that our interests are taken into consideration during the process. Accident investigators will begin to map the extent of the damage and the condition of the vessel as soon as it has been lifted and secured. The investigation team also has access to a digital model of the frigate’s hull, which will be used in the work to study the vessel's damage stability and survivability.

Several electronic storage media have been secured from HNoMS Helge Ingstad, and work to retrieve and analyse data from these is under way. Attempts will be made to secure more data sources during the process of lifting the vessel, but it is uncertain whether the information they contain can be recovered after such a long period of submersion.

The scope of the investigation will be limited to the time up until everyone had been evacuated from the frigate.

A preliminary report was published on 29 November 2018. The vessel's Spanish designer Navantia received a notification of a critical safety issue in relation to the frigate's watertight compartments. In connection with this, AIBN and DAIBN have entered into a dialogue with Navantia and the Spanish Standing Commission for Maritime Accident and Incident Investigations (CIAIM). Spain has been assigned status as a substantially interested state, and the CIAIM has been included as a participant in the investigation. Navantia has informed that the design concept that the notification concerned only applies to the Norwegian frigates.

The NDMA also received a notification about the same matter. The NDMA has informed that necessary steps have been taken to address the safety issues.

More information about the investigation.

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