Weather problems delaying KNM “Helge Ingstad” salvage operation

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The complex raising operation of KNM “Helge Ingstad” began on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Norwegian Armed Forces sent out a press release about its plans to raise the frigate “Helge Ingstad”, which collided with the tanker “Sola” in November last year.

Raising the “Helge Ingstad”, one of Norway’s five frigates, is expected to take five to six days and will require calm weather.

According to forsvaret.no, two barges have anchored up next to the frigate. Since the accident in November, divers and personnel have been working to pull several lifting chains around the hull. Four large hoists on the two barges will now slowly lift the frigate from the seabed.

The publication added that frigate will then be raised onto a sub-surface barge, which then will be raised to the surface. Aboard the barge, “Helge Ingstad” will be shipped to Haakonsvern Naval Base, Bergen. If the operation goes according to plan, the ship may be at Haakonsvern some time during the weekend 1–3 March.

In the morning hours Tuesday, “Helge Ingstad” was given the clear and the crane vessels “Gulliver” and “Rambiz” backed out to arrange for the divers, according to the Armed Forces.

“The last four lifting chains are now attached and the vessel is straightened. You will eventually start with active water drainage with the help of pumps,” wrote military professional Elisabeth Sandberg in a text message to NRK on Wednesday morning.

Read more: Farmed salmon near KNM “Helge Ingstad” frigate accident site have been analysed

Divers cut all wires and lifting chains between the frigate and the land.

VIDEO: IMC Diving

According to the Armed Forces, weather forecasts still suggest ocean swells on Wednesday, which can create uncertainty in raising operations.

“It is also of great concern for a weather front moving from Iceland to Nordland and Trøndelag. This weather can bring along some swells in Hjeltefjorden, which in turn can affect the raising operation,” wrote the Armed Forces Tuesday evening.

According to Defense Materials, it’ll be challenging if there is a wavelength of 0.5 metres, wrote NRK.

24-hour timelapse from the elevation site (25-26 February). VIDEO: Varde Solutions