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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Doomed frigate’s duty chief drops appeal

UPDATED: A young Norwegian naval officer who was convicted for the second time of negligence in connection with a frigate collision five years ago has decided to drop another appeal. He still thinks he’s been made the scapegoat in the expensive accident that embarrassed the Norwegian Navy, but now wants to put it all behind him.

“The case has been a huge burden for him and his family,” his defense attorney, Christian Lundin, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Lundin has earlier said that his client was “disappointed” by the latest appeals court conviction issued just before the Christmas holidays. He’s also “sorry and thinks his conviction is incorrect,” claimed Lundin, but now wants to shield both himself and his family from more challenges, so has decided not to take the case to Norway’s Supreme Court. He has retained his position in the Navy.

He was in charge in the early morning hours of November 8, 2018 when the KNM Helge Ingstad, one of only five Norwegian frigates, collided with a fully-laden oil tanker as it sailed home to Bergen after NATO exercises. The frigate, worth around NOK 5 billion, later sank, was ultimately scrapped and still hasn’t been replaced.

The 34-year-old duty chief has once again been convicted of negligence after failing to monitor radar or pick up urgent warnings from marine radio systems to swerve away from the approaching tanker. He was also once again handed a suspended sentence of 60 days despite his claims that a series of systems on board had failed at the same time. His Naval superiors have continued to support him, claiming he  remains “a good colleague … and is absolutely a person we need in the Navy.” staff



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