Heavy Swells Hamper Sunken Frigate Lifting Operation
A day after beginning the lifting operation of sunken Norwegian frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad from the sea floor in the Hjeltefjorden fjord, Norwegian authorities and heavy lift vessels operated by BOA Management were forced to move the operation to Hanøytangen in order to avoid swells that could threaten the frigate’s lifting.
The frigate spent the past four months almost completely submerged after colliding with oil tanker Sola TS at the Sture terminal in Øygarden, Norway, on November 8. Eight people sustained minor injuries and 137 people were evacuated from the Norwegian frigate.
Heavy lift vessels Rambiz and Gulliver started lifting the frigate in the early morning hours of Tuesday. BOA Management and Norwegian authorities expected the Helge Ingstad to be lifted onto the semi-submersible barge Boa Barge 33 by Thursday or Friday and transported to the Haakonsvern naval base by the end of the weekend.
Moving the lifting operation to Hanøytangen is likely to affect the estimated duration, but the navy did not provide additional information on this. The navy did say that the complicated maneuver of towing the two heavy lift vessels with the frigate attached to them would improve the conditions in which the frigate is lifted.
Sola TS, the Maltese-flagged Aframax oil tanker did not sustain damages below the waterline in the collision. A minor fuel spill had been detected around the vessel but was deemed non-actionable. The Tsakos Energy Navigation vessel is the sixth in a series of nine aframax tankers from Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries built on long term contracts with Norway’s Equinor.