Indeed. Thus, when the AIBN report on the Helge Ingstad accident mentions the enormous “damages received by the frigate”, it is funny in a quaint kind of way, and easy enough to understand.
However, when the same mistake is made by someone who grew up with damage in the colloquial sense as a mass noun, I don’t see how it comes about. Maybe they read some fancy language they didn’t quite understand, and wanted to emulate the style? But then what kind of person would want to make their text hard to read? NTSB report writers, maybe?