Operation to lift sunken Norwegian frigate gets underway

The Royal Norwegian Navy’s sunken frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad is ready to get out of the water after spending over four months on the sea bottom in the Hjeltefjorden fjord.

HNoMS Helge Ingstad's sensor mast is seen from one of the two heavy lift vessels. Photo. Norwegian defense ministry

As informed by Norway’s defense ministry, weather conditions and forecasts have finally allowed for the operation to start.

HNoMS Helge Ingstad was involved in a collision near Bergen on November 8, 2018. The ship initially spent several days on its starboard side with a significant portion of its body above the waterline before almost completely sinking on November 13.

The navy expected it would lift the frigate and transport it to the Haakonsvern base within three weeks.

Some three months later, in the early morning hours of Tuesday, heavy lift vessels Rambiz and Gulliver are on site and have begun lifting the frigate onto a barge for her transport to the navy base.

HNoMS Helge Ingstad is expected to be onboard the submersible barge “Boa barge 33” by Thursday or Friday, the navy said. The entire operation is expected to be completed by the end of the weekend.

The schedule of the delicate operation could still be affected by the weather, the navy noted.

You can watch the operation live in the video below

Before the defense ministry shares first before and after photos, here is how it envisions the operation to unfold:

HNoMS Helge Ingstad has been stable for a long time now, according to the navy, and is secured to land with steel wires.
The first step of the salvage operation will see divers drill holes in the frigate’s hull to drain the fuel tanks and lay out chains that will be used to lift the vessel.
Operation planing will be based on a great amount of data and extensive calculation, the navy said.
As the illustration shows, the frigate will be slowly positioned upright before being loaded onto the barge
Once at normal waterline, the frigate will be moved onto the barge.
Once secured to the barge, HNoMS Helge Ingstad will be transported to Haakonsvern base