Tanker Sola and Norwegian navy frigate Helga Ingstad collide off Norway


Yes, but the thing is that this is a constant process in traffic. Turns out what was thought to be a shore light turns out to be a single stern light. What you thought was a stern light is a fishing boat. The ship that you thought was anchored is in fact underway. Radar you though was on 12 miles is on six.

And so forth.The trick is that errors are corrected at sufficient range/time.


It can be and is sometimes very confusing at night, the more reason to run at a reduced speed as is in fact is required by good seamanship under these confusing circumstances. A good question at the hearings would be why the rush?


It can be difficult, the bridge team on the McCain focused on the steering problem and lost the picture, the Fitzgerald was focused on traffic to port.

A slightly confusing situation on top of fatigue in both cases.


IMO there would be no reason for the commander on HI to be on the bridge at this particular time. (Assuming he trusted the abilities of his officers)

The HI had been sailing along the inshore route for many hours by the time they got to Hjeltefjorden.

They went inshore from Sildegapet, north of Maaloy. There are many stretch along there that is much more of a navigational challenge and the normal North/South traffic on the inshore route would be about the same.

PS>They did turn on AIS when passing Maaloysundet in daylight, but for some reason turned it off shortly after.

The difference, once they entered Hjeltefjorden, is the traffic to/from Mongstad Offshore Base and refinery that crosses the fjord near Fedje. As they proceeded south there would be the addition of large tankers from Sture and Kollsnes and offshore vessels from Aagotneset that would be heading north to reach open waters at Fedje. But the fjord is wide, deep and straight for quite a long distance, with few other hazards to navigation.


I like AIS very much. On a screen on my computer I can see where my ships are + plenty other details speed/ETA, etc + all the other ships in the vicinity outside my office free of charge. I cannot understand why anyone on a warship would switch it off. Do they have to make a note in the log book about it?


Turning off the AIS is negligence per se.


Yes clear as mud.
And it belongs in the mud, not where there are vessels manned by people that may not be familiar with local lingo and may have problem understanding the accent.


Yes and no.

How hard is it to ask the pilot: what is he trying to say?

Maybe it would be a good idea to learn some of the local lingo, especially if it is in English, for places that one frequently goes.

If you choose to dodge boat traffic off Louisiana without a pilot, you’d better learn the meaning of: “see you on the one”. No American Mariner should have any trouble figuring that out, but I can certainly see where foreigners would be mystified.

“Slow Bell” is a good succinct term with a clear meaning that you might hear anywhere in North America. That’s not hard to figure out.


I also think that a navigator should be able to be on the HI bridge alone with his outlook same way as on Vestbris. If all the navigational equipment on HI was not available or in use, then normal procedures would require that measures would be put in place to compensate. What about ECDIS on HI? I assume they got one. With 6 people on the bridge, what are they doing? 1 for the helm, 2 for lookout, 1 navigator, what does the last 2 do?


According to a statement from the Norwegian Navy the normal manning while transiting would be 5 people, but they have not confirmed that this was the case on the HI at the time.
It has also been reported that the American Naval officer that was assigned to HI was on the bridge, but not if he was part of the normal team of 5, or what role he played, if any.


So 2 look outs 1 helmsman and 2 navigators? The American doesnt count as he is only on training, probably under the senior navigator.


The tanker Sola could have easily had 5 crew in the wheelhouse as well, pilot, captain, mate, helmsman and cadet.


The American was assigned as as part of the crew of HI in order to learn and presumably report on the way Norwegian navy ships operated. Exactly what he was doing on the bridge is not know yet. (Outside the Navy and the investigation committees that is)


At the time probably onboard Sola TS, Captain, Pilot , OOW, 1 helmsman, 1 lookout, they just left the terminal. HI had 7 on the bridge when the colided including the American, 1 Navigator, 1 Assistant navigator, 2 lookouts, 1 American what are the 2 last people doing?. Are they the 2 off duty navigators?


My experience was a long time ago.

Typical steaming watch in the wheelhouse:

  1. OOD (ensign or LTJG)
  2. JOOD (ensign)
  3. QM of Watch (enlisted rating, keeps nav plot and log)
  4. Helm (enlisted seaman)
  5. Lookout (enlisted seaman)
  6. Messenger (enlisted seaman, rotates with helm and lookout)

Sometimes add a QM striker (training) and a bos’n (not always in the wheelhouse, makes rounds). Typically there will not be a Navigator (LT) except in pilotage waters.

We had this same discussion with the U.S. Navy with the McCain and Fitzgerald.


From the Norwegian news standard watch condition on HI is 1 OOD (lisenced navigator) 1 JOOD 1 helmsman and 2 lookout. At the time there was 6 +1 American.


Where do you have that info from?? I have not seen any official confirmation on the number, only that 5 was the normal bridge manning.


Men da kollisjonen skjedde var det totalt syv personer til stede på broen. Seks av dem var nordmenn. Den siste var en amerikansk offiser, slik flere medier har meldt onsdag.


OK thank. (I must have missed that one)


But the question remains how many men and women were on the HI bridge. When Exxon Valdez ran aground March 24, 1989 there were two men and and one woman on the bridge, but one man was the blind and deaf helmsman, so nobody on the bridge was held accountable for anything. In the end it was the Exxon Valdez Captain asleep in his cabin that was found guilty of everything, of course. The shipowner was just an oil company that just collected the freight. In the HI case the shipowner is Norway … and it is above the law. So nobody is responsible for anything in this case … except the Greek master of Sola TS. Maybe he will be thrown in jail?