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Investigation of marine accident, collision outside the Sture Oil Terminal in Hjeltefjorden, Norway

On the morning of Thursday 8 November 2018, the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) was informed of a collision between the frigate 'KNM Helge Ingstad' and the Maltese registered tanker 'Sola TS' in Hjeltefjorden, outside the Sture Oil Terminal in Øygarden municipality in Hordaland county. The AIBN contacted the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN) and it was decided to initiate a joint investigation into the accident, led by the AIBN. Malta and Spain are substantially interested states, and their accident investigation branches also participate in the investigation, cf. the Norwegian Maritime Code Chapter 18 Section 474.

On 29 November 2018 the AIBN published a preliminary report on the accident and two interim safety recommendations. This preliminary report was published to communicate the information obtained during the initial phase of the ongoing investigation.

On 8 November 2019 the AIBN published the Part one report the contains the results of the AIBN’s investigation of the sequence of events up until the time when the collision occurred. The report can be found here.

The AIBN is continuing the investigation into how and why HNoMS Helge Ingstad ran aground and sank.

The main areas for the AIBN’s further investigation are (this list is not complete):

  • Mapping of the battle damage repair.
  • Investigation of how the systems for propulsion and steering were functioning after the collision.
  • Investigation of cooperation and internal communication in the accident situation on board HNoMS Helge Ingstad.
  • Investigation of possible connections linked to design criteria/choices for the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates. This includes e.g. an investigation of the design with hollow propeller shafts.
  • Detailed stability calculations for HNoMS Helge Ingstad.
  • Further examination of the bilge system on HNoMS Helge Ingstad.
  • Investigation of what decision-making support was available to the crew in the accident situation and cooperation with dedicated onshore organisation.

This work presumes continued good collaboration with the responsible organisations, primarily the frigate manufacturer Navantia, the Navy and the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, and that the AIBN is being given unhampered access to relevant information.


Photo: The Norwegian Coastal Administration

Staus of the investigation

As a result of the scope and complexity of the investigation, it is not possible to estimate a date of completion for the part two report. The investigation still has a high priority.

Latest update: 08.01.2020

Information published in the early stages of the investigation


Location Outside Sture Oil Terminal in Hjeltefjorden, Norway
Occurrence date 08.11.2018
Accident category Collision
Area Norwegian Territorial Waters
IMO number - / 9724350
Name of vessel KNM Helge Ingstad / Sola TS
Accident type Pollution/environmental damage, Capsize, Collision
Vessel type Misc. Ship/ Tanker
Register The Norwegian Ship Register/ Other Flag State

Reports - same area

Reports same accident category