Raising HNoMS Helge Ingstad to take three weeks

An operation to raise the almost-submerged Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad following a collision in the Hjeltefjorden fjord on November 8 is expected to be completed within some three weeks, the navy has said.

Should all go according to plans, the stricken frigate will be loaded on a 140-meter commercial barge and transported to the Haakonsvern base by the first week of December.

Plans for salvaging the frigate got underway immediately after the collision while sea bottom mapping with autonomous vessels around and below the frigate is already underway. According to Norwegian media reports, dredging works that would allow the barge to approach the frigate are also underway.

In an update on November 14, the navy said Helge Ingstad was in danger of sinking even further as steel wiring with which she had been secured to land snapped in the night between Monday and Tuesday.

Following the collision on Thursday, the frigate was intentionally grounded and seven fixing points were subsequently welded onto the frigate’s hull and fixed to anchors on land in order to prevent her from sinking in deep water. However, as the frigate continued taking on water, the added weight snapped the steel wires and the ship sank further with only her mast and part of helicopter hangar still visible.

Norwegian company BOA Management and maritime consultancy DNV GL are now working with the navy to plan and execute an operation in which the frigate will be raised and transported to the Haakonsvern base for a first assessment of damages. The navy has not provided any info on whether the frigate will be repaired or scrapped as the majority of the ship’s systems have spent a considerable amount of time under water.