Tanker Sola and Norwegian navy frigate Helga Ingstad collide off Norway

I concur. Also with the USN. In my training days we didn’t have AIS, ARPA, GPS, nor even VHF. We couldn’t talk to merchant ships or port authorities for some strange reason of communications security or somesuch.

We avoided collisions primarily by taking and recording visual bearings, observations of aspect and on reflector plotter on radar. I’ve seen near misses caused by reliance on VHF when ships thought they were talking to the vessel in sight but weren’t. I’ve had merchant ships call up (when we got VHF) and ask what those funny coloured lights meant when only showing COLREGs nav lights (minesweeping, under sail). So I don’t regard naval nor non-naval collision avoidance standards as at any particular consistent standard worldwide. There are good and bad in both.

Just another old method not mentioned anywhere above is why no sound signals accompanied by flashing light. I would have been on the whistle very early on SOLA. I suspect the flashing light is stored in a museum somewhere though. I think the frigate didn’t see him and thought he was talking to another ship in sight and that that officer was not being fed information that might have conflicted with his perception from lookouts, other officers, and the radar operators below in the Ops Room/CIC.

And I note “conn” is a US variant of the Queen’s English “con” we Aussies use. I learn new stuff daily.

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It is unclear to me if the Captain of the KNM Helge Ingstad was on the bridge when his ship was operating and manoeuvring close to shore in restricted waters at high speed with a lot of other ships around. Maybe he was sleeping after the long and exhausting war exercises up North or he was playing poker over a drink in his cabin with this USN officer aboard? Maybe it is top secret confidential for Norwegian security reasons? What a con game!

you would have to be crazy to let a US Navy officer to do anything on the bridge of anything, their reputation preceeds them, they are only taught how to fire weapons I thought so they know port stb fwd and aft and thats about it?

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As a former MN. I have a long and traditional friendly disrespect for all of HM Navies, only exceeded by my slightly greater friendly disrespect for any other Navies…

By tradition if I could possibly offend them in some bar on boogie street and start a fight. We usually did. It was all in fun really. Fighting with your allies. Just because. It what we did.

I have never met a seaman or woman who has never made a mistake.
Only those with no experience have never had some kind of near miss. When someone saw something they had not seen. I have been lucky somebody has always caught my mistake before it became a disaster.

Perhaps you have been lucky. You might not be tomorrow.

The RN, USN, RCN and in this case Norwegian Navy. Had incidents. As have most if not all MN fleets and companies.
Somebody made an error.
Unfortunately it was not noticed and corrected.

It is an opportunity for us all to learn how to improve our luck tomorrow.

There but for the Grace of God Go I


Looks like the Sola TS has a captain with a sense of humor at least. (I’d totally do this too once the fallout settled from it.)


7 posts were split to a new topic: But it is another story

Looking at the presumed origin of this picture (@5DTOY - a Chinese model and toys website) I would put as much trust in this as in tweets from certain sources.

PS> Sola TS is still at anchor off Gdansk, Poland.

Don’t ruin it now.

Fake news :smile:

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Actually it is the ship owner ashore that writes the ISM, etc. The Captain aboard just does what he is told by the ship owner ashore e.g; carry X tons of cargo from A to B and Y passengers from C to D and load/unload them. The Captain is like a truck/bus driver just running his vessel around as told by the Owner. Of course, when things go wrong, many Owners love to blame their Captains for everything. It is sad.

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Anyone that is part of the ISM being onboard the vessel or ashore can change the ISM, it is just to make an Management of Change Request and get it approved. The involvement from the vessels depends on culture. Also there is the yearly Master Review, where all onboard is supposed to participate, to which extent this happens, again depends on culture.

It now appears that the US Navy Officer was on the bridge of the HI at time of collision, but he was there to learn, not to instruct.
What tasks he had been given at the time is unclear though:

It also appear that the Norwegian navy is a secretive as their US counterpart. They claim that ongoing enquiries prohibit them from telling anything. (Eqv. to claiming "5th Amendment??)

Actually the same apply in most civilian accidents, where Lawyers will put a gag order on everybody involved.


Hoping he did !

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I am very happy that the Master of M/T Sola TS has not yet been arrested and put in jail for sinking KNM Helge Ingstad. It seems to be standard practice to blame the Master for everything today M/S Costa Concordia style. Imagine if KNM Helge Ingstad had turned port five seconds later and rammed and ripped open the upper side of M/T Sola TS instead, so that several cargo tanks would have been breached … and filled the tanker double hull with oil … that no doubt would have caught fire. Then I think all aboard M/T Sola TS would have died. If KNM Helge Ingstad had got stuck into the tanker, maybe also the crew + one USN visitor on it would have died. So hat off for the Master of M/T Sola TS that prevented this by sinking the Norwegian frigate.

With the angle of HI hitting Sola TS, I doubt she would have breached any cargo hold, and if she did it would be high up.

I have read from a naval architect paper that to really breach through the hull, the angle of contact ought to be larger than 30°, which is about twice the angle that forms half the water plane area at a bow against the axis. Lesser angles should make a bow to bounce off. However, I prefer not to test that theory … :fearful:

With oposite courses its very difficult not to bounce of the bow, if HI didnt bounce off at 17 knots many people would for sure be dead. Major oil spil from Sola TS is not realistic, unles there was an explosion.

In this latest incident it was the bulbous bow of slow speed, heavy M/T Sola TS that ripped open the single, thin hull side of fast KNM Helge Ingstad at say 30° angle so … I assume the underwater damages of the Norwegian ship are very long - >60 meters!! I wonder why divers haven’t filmed it. Anyway, if the wreck is lifted on a barge, we will see the hull damages. Maybe five watertight compartments of KNM Helge Ingstad were up-flooded at the collision, so she only floated on intact double bottom tanks, watertight compartments and warship watertight decks. The safety of sea of warships is zero anyway; They shall just attack the enemy and after that … nobody cares. When sinking the sailors shall jump into the water and swim ashore. FYI I assisted the IMO 1991/7 on behalf of ICS, Liberia and Sweden (paid for by a nice ship owner) to improve oil tanker safety and environmental protection. I am sorry to say I wasn’t impressed by the IMO, i.e. mostly overpaid diplomatic people with no knowledge of anything employing English marine consultants at high fees, bla, bla, bla. Then Sweden decided 1996 I was an idiot and there we are today.

He was assigned to the Norwegian Navy to learn how they operate, as is the stated purpose of placing US Naval Officers on allied ships. He was not an observer or instructor in conjunction with the just completed exercise.

And yes, I DO hope he learnt something; how NOT to do it when you are transiting in heavy trafficked waters. Not transmitting AIS signals and not observing RoR is not recommended SOP.

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