Helge Ingstad pt. 2: Survivability and Salvage - Seriously Damning Stuff

The second and final part of the Helge Ingstad accident report came out to a bit of fanfare today:

Helge Ingstad Accident Report Part 2 - English Version

At over 200 pages it’s a bit of a read, and I’m only partway through, but there is already plenty of good stuff. In essence, the ship could have been saved if the crew had closed water tight doors before evacuating. However, they were not effectively trained in damage control, and lacked basic knowledge about the ship’s systems and stability characteristics. Furthermore, Navy brass had repeatedly been informed of the sad state of affairs, without taking any action. All in all pretty grim reading.

The news are awash with demands of resignations in Navy leadership, but so far they aren’t saying much, except making promises of better training and increased requirements of experience for watchstanding officers.

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I naively thought that the damage control training of Norway would be similar to other navies in that trainees were placed in a replica of a warships compartment ashore. Watertight doors suddenly leak, gashes in the ship side allow water to pour into the compartment. Add low light, cold water, thunder flash explosions and other noises to try and disorient the students. The fire fighting part of the training was designed to terrify.
The senior engineer officer would be stationed in an office with all of the stability data and control the response. Deck officers are responsible for stability in submarines only.

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