Repairs of collision damage completed
The "Sola TS" left Gdansk on Dec 13 at 9.15 a.m. after repairs of collision damage. She moored on the Gdansk anchorage at 11 a.m. prior to its departure to Ust-Luga. By Dec 17 she remained anchored in pos. 54° 27.82' N 018° 42.58' E. The tanker berthed at Ust-Luga on Dec 24 at noon as first port of call after repairs and sailed again on Dec 26 at 6 a.m., bound for Rotterdam, ETA Dec 31.
Sola TS cleared to sail
The "Sola TS" has been cleared of all required condition assessments and relevant formalities to continue her voyage to her port of destination, on Nov 9. The Managers Emergency Response Team together with the vessel's Master, officers and crew have extended their full cooperation to the Norwegian Authorities conducting their investigation into the incident. In addition, the Classification Society inspectors have inspected the minor damage sustained to the bow well above the waterline and have cleared the vessel to sail to its initial destination. The "Solo TS" sailed early on Nov 10. She moored at the Tetney Oil Monobuoy off Grimsby on Nov 13. The tanker left the mooring off Immingham after unloading its cargo during two days, on Nov 14 around 4 p.m. and headed to Gdanks for repairs. It entered the Gdanska Stocznia Remontowa yard in Gdansk on Nov 21 at 12.20 p.m.
Tanker held in Hjelte Fjord
While the tug "Tenax" held the "Sola TS", which had only slight damage at the anchor on starboard side and the bulbous bow, in position 60° 42.64' N 004° 49.60' E in the Hjelte Fjord, efforts continued to stabilize the capsized fregate KNM "Helge Ingstad" at Seløyna which was resting on three points of the rocky bottom with a list of 60 degrees to starboard, but was still moving on the bottom. Only small amounts of diesel fuel were escaping from the flooded aft and contained within a boom. The fregate had on board 380 tons diesel as well as helicopter fuel and some bunkers. The anti pollution vessel "Utvær" reached the site on Nov 8 at 7 p.m. Crews started to drill holes into the rock on shore to fix wires which should be connected to the fregate to keep it in its position. Five attachments were on the frigate and ten fasting points on land. The Sture Terminal remained closed for the time being. The coastal administration decided in consulation with the Norwegian Navy that the government will take over the further action which meant that the Coastal Administration would be responsible for the anti pollution work and the Navy for the salvage under its supervision. The Coastal Administration had to vessels, nine depots, 1.000 meters oil boom and the patrol boat "Tor" ready. The plan was to lift the "Helge Ingstad" onto a barge, remove the ammunition and take her to the main Navy base Haakonsvern off Bergen, which is 19 miles away. The length of the salvage operation depended on several factors including wind and sea state. The police meanwhile launched its technical and tacital investigations and innterogated crews of both ships. What was known was that the tanker left the Equinor terminal at 3.43 a.m. Two tugs towed it away, the bow tug unhooked after the ship was turned around. The "Tenax" continued its escort. At 4.03 a.m. the fregate suddenly emerged off the bow. She was heading northward to the Haakonsvern base without sending AIS signals and was hit by the tanker with a speed of 7,2 knots. Immediately she suffered severe water ingress in the quarters in the aft wich could not be controlled. The hull was penetrated underneath and above the water line. When the fregate started to issue AIS signals at 4.04 a.m., she was already stopped and adrift. Soon after the evacuation of the crew of 137 was decided. At 4.50 a.m. the evacuation started. Eight soldiers had suffered slight injuries, two of them, aged 20 and 25, were taken to the university hospital in Haukeland. At 6.40 a.m. all but 10 were taken off. As the ship was threatend to sink in a water depth of 30 meters, it was tried to push it onto the shore with tugs. After the remaining 10 had left the ship too, the SAR operation was officially ended at 8 a.m. An exclusion zone of 1.500 meters on the water and 1.000 meters ashore was established. The closure of five oil fields in the surroundings was meanwhile lifted. Norwegian report with photos: https://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/i/9m1g99/milliardfregatt-med-massive-skader-etter-kollisjon-som-en-rambukk?utm_content=row-1&utm_source=vgfrontUpload News