Crews Complete Salvage of Norwegian Frigate KNM Helge Ingstad

KNM Helge Ingstad  salvage
Photo: Jan De Nul

Salvage crews have completed the salvage of the Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad four months after the frigate collided with a tanker and partially sank in a fjord along the west coast Norway.

The salvage was carried out by Scaldis Salvage & Marine Contractors NV, the Belgian subsidiary of Jan De Nul Group, Herbosch-Kiere and DEME, in cooperation with BOA Offshore.

The operation was completed last Sunday after what Scaldis described was a revolutionary dual lifting method utilizing the combined capacity of the company’s two heavy lift vessels, Rambiz and Gulliver, equipped with two cranes each.

“With this unique ‘Double Duo Lift’ method, Scaldis has a combined total lifting capacity of 7,300 tonnes at its disposal,” the company said in a statement.

“This made it possible to lift the 133-metre long and 5,500-tonne heavy frigate in one piece. In fact, the synchronous functioning of the four cranes allows to lift the wreck in one continuous operation and to move it into a horizontal position,” the statement said.

helge-ingstad-salvage-norway
The shipwrecked Norwegian frigate “KNM Helge Ingstad” is seen during a salvage operation near Bergen, Norway February 26, 2019. NTB Scanpix/Vidar Ruud/via REUTERS

Before the lift could begin, crews removed all missiles and fuel from the frigate while divers installed 16 hoisting chains under the wreck to be able to lift the ship out of the water.

Once out, it was transported while still hanging from the crane hooks of the heavy lift vessels to the nearest port, where it was placed on a submersible pontoon. The pontoon was then de-ballasted, allowing it to re-emerge above the waterline while supporting the ‘Helge Ingstad’ at its center. The hoisting cranes stabilized the ship until all sea-fastenings had been secured for subsequent transport.

The KNM Helge Ingstad collided with the tanker Sola TS near the Sture terminal in Hjeltefjorden, Norway on 8 November 2018, and subsequently sank on the inclined slope of a fjord. The collision resulted in extensive damage to the frigate, leading to the abandoning of the ship.

There were no serious injuries among the 137 sailors on board the frigate and 23 crewmembers of the Sola TS.

Frank Elskens, General Manager Scaldis Salvage & Marine Contractors NV: “Thanks to the full commitment and expertise of our local teams and all involved parties, this salvage was a great success.”

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