A team of salvagers has raised the Norwegian guided missile frigate Helge Ingstad, which sank after a collision with a commercial tanker in November 2018.
A time-lapse video shows the warship slowly being raised by a team of salvage cranes. The ship emerges from the shallow water with clear signs of rust and algae growth on the hull. Despite the lack of corrosion inside, the Norwegian government will almost certainly scrap her, reducing the Norwegian navy’s frigate fleet by a whopping 20 percent.
Early the morning of November 8, 2018, the frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad collided with the commercial oil tanker Sola TS. The smash-up ripped a large 10-meter gash in the ship’s hull and the vessel rapidly took on seawater. The ship’s captain intentionally ran the ship aground to prevent it from sinking, but later on the ship sank anyways, its radar mast visible above water. Eight Norwegian sailors suffered minor injuries, but there were no serious injuries or deaths.
One hundred and fifteen days after the accident, Helge Ingstad is again above water. , 300 military and civilian salvage personnel have been working full time to raise the ship. It finally happened on Saturday, March 2, with the help of two salvage cranes named Rambiz and Gulliver. The stricken frigate was placed on a platform at , Norway’s main navy base, where it is sitting entirely above water until the arrival of custom-ordered steel plating to cover the gash. The navy expects the ship to float again in five or six weeks.
According to Aftenposten, the salvage operation has cost 640 million Krone, or $78 million. A Norwegian navy commander says the government has already salvaged “a large amount of valuable components” and that overall there are 2,500 components it wants to remove from the ship. Although the ship’s Stingray anti-submarine torpedoes were taken off the ship while it was still underwater and , there are still other weapons and ammunition aboard.
The Norwegian Navy says it “will now make a thorough survey of the condition of Helge Ingstad in order to make an assessment of the frigate's future destiny.” Still, it’s hard to see the ship re-entering service. Although there were some airtight compartments when the ship went down much of it including the guns, engines, electronics, and other critical components were submerged in corrosive seawater for nearly four months. The best outcome could be Helge Ingstad permanently moored as a training vessel. The most likely outcome? Your next set of tableware could be made from a former Norwegian frigate.