The Norwegian defense department and the owner of a large oil tanker have settled their legal claims against each other, after one of Norway’s frigates collided with the tanker in 2018. The frigate Helge Ingstad then sank and it all resulted in huge losses for the Norwegian Navy.
Norway’s accident investigations board ultimately concluded that blame was spread among all involved: The frigate’s crew was inexperienced and didn’t understand the situation they were in, local maritime traffic was not properly monitored in the dark early morning hours of November 8, 2018, and the crew and pilot on board the fully laden tanker didn’t communicate well and shouldn’t have had the tanker’s decks illuminated while sailing away from an oil terminal in Øygarden west of Bergen.
The Navy had sued the tanker owner, Twitt Navigation Ltd, which countersued. Newspaper Aftenposten reported this week that Twitt has now agreed to pay NOK 235 million (USD 26 million) to the defense department, described as “a good result” for the Norwegian state. The Navy, meanwhile, has lost a frigate valued at NOK 4.3 billion at the time, plus had to pay NOK 726 million tied to the costs of raising the sunken tanker and then ultimately scrapping it.
Neither side would comment or offer more information about the settlement that avoids a court case that was due to start in Bergen later this month.