Commander of Helge Ingstad in interview

The first interview I have seen with the commander of Helge Ingstad in today:

Nothing new about the reason for the collision, as can be expected.

Keeping his gunpowder dry as that would probably be called in his circles. So he is still around and allowed to be interviewed while the investigation is still underway. Oh well, I suppose that ultimately they will pin it on an injun.

Jeg må selvsagt sove i blant jeg også. Etter 12 år på sjøen kjenner jeg kysten som min egen lomme, så jeg vet akkurat når jeg må være på broen og når jeg kan hvile. Mellom Kristiansund og Hjeltefjorden var jeg oppe fire ganger. Siste gang jeg la meg var da vi kom ut i Sognefjorden, rundt klokken 02.00.

I must sleep sometimes also. After 12 years at the sea, I know the coast as my own pocket, so I know exactly when I have to be on the bridge and when I can rest. Between Kristiansund and Hjeltefjorden, I was up four times. The last time I left was when we got into the Sognefjord around 02:00.

Strange paragraph in the article.

What’s strange about it? This is exactly how it’s done. Identity in advance areas of higher risk to determine ahead of time bridge manning.

I find it strange that a 49 year old Captain has been 12 years at sea in the navy, knows the coast as his own pocket (Who can verify that? They are exempt from the regular screening process) let’s a fresh Officer take the vessel down Hjeltefjorden alone at night, when they are going to Scotland.

If you are going to sleep set a course directly to Scotland, don’t let the junior officers train without supervision.

In hindsight things look different. The excess speed and the AIS being off would have been better questions.

In general, reducing risk has a cost.

Not running at the required speed has operational costs, in my case I need to stay on schedule lacking a good solid reason not to. Not being able to judge and mitigate risk is not a good excuse.

Presumably the thinking was having the AIS on has security risks.

Not allowing the officers to train is a risk.

Another point is if the Norwegian Navy is similar to the U.S. than the safety of navigation would not have been on a single watch officer. A separate radar watch presumably would have been kept as well.

Having the commanding officer sleep deprived is a risk.

English version found:

The captain says he was familiar with the area, but doesn’t mention if the bridge crew was familiar or not, which is what matters.

The article reports that an investigation was started but goes on to say other facts have come out since, the article seems to be saying given the new facts it obvious what happened so no need for an investigation.

Basically the public is screaming for someone’s head and not getting it is causing people to become emotional distraught.

I don’t know if anybody is “screaming for someone’s head” (??)
In Norway the reaction is rather muted as far as I can see. If there are any screaming it must be outside the main stream media and the maritime forums that I follow.
There are the snide remarks about the abilities of the bridge crew and the navy in general, but nobody expect or demand any head rolling.

PS> The VTS gets some flake as well.

Won’t discuss the cause of the collision

It didn’t take long for speculation to start flying over how and why such a collision could have occurred, in calm seas and clear weather. Investigations were launched immediately and then came word that the frigate’s crew on the bridge had been warned it was on a collision course with the tanker. A few days later, VG obtained and published dramatic tapes of the radio communication between the tanker and maritime traffic officials when the frigate didn’t respond. Defense officials were charged with shielding the frigate’s crew, and being remarkably reluctant to discuss the cause of the collision or answer questions.
No blame was assigned, nor was anyone facing punitive consequences, and that irked a long line of maritime experts who took to writing angry commentaries in newspapers and online.

Maybe someone’s definition of “long line” and “maritime experts” is different from mine. The quoted article was written by a journalist after all.

I have seen some comments that was factual and fairly critical, but not looking for anybody to blame, or demanding punishment at this stage. The inquiry that is ongoing is looking for lessons to be learnt, not who to blame. The Police is running their own and parallel investigation.

There is no legal punishment for mistakes made due to lack of training, or even stupidity, other than that someone may be dismissed from the navy.

But if it should eventually be found that there were wilful gross negligence by anybody I’m sure that will change,

The posted article in the OP is what is being discussed here and is the context for my post. According to the article what’s needed is more shame and blame and fewer facts.

I have no idea what’s going on in Norway beyond what’s been posted here but this fellow


is letting his mouth overrun his brain as well. Ex-maritime chief blasts frigate report

Vågslid doesn’t accept the crew’s explanation that they feared turning right would risk collision with a stationary object.

Seems like it would be more prudent to say we have to wait for a full investigation.

A key part of being an expert is to know in what areas your expertise does not apply.

I would imagine that like my own country Norway like most small countries have a very limited number of naval bases that they operate from.
This would mean that even junior officers should have good local knowledge of the surrounding waters of the base where the ship docks.