The Norwegian Navy frigate that tried and failed to return home after parading its might in NATO war games is almost completely submerged under water after colliding with an oil tanker.
Eight people were injured when the KNM Helge Ingstad and the tanker Sola TS collided last week off Norway’s western coast, putting a not-so-great finish on the much touted Trident Juncture 2018 drills – the largest exercise hosted by Norway since the 1980s and the largest that NATO has held in decades.
Since then, the frigate has been slowly sinking. Photos from the scene on Monday show a tiny fraction of the warship above water, with the rest of it completely submerged.
That comes despite the Norwegian military working since Thursday to attempt to salvage the frigate by tethering it to the shore with several wires.
The sinking ship is unfortunate for NATO, considering the Trident Juncture drills were designed to send a “clear message” to “adversaries” that NATO is “ready to defend…against any threat.” Instead, the bloc member’s Navy could now be sent to retest its navigation skills.
From bad to worse at #KNMHelgeIngstad site. The bow of the ship slid into deeper water, snapping the wire rope attachments on the shore. Bow has settled in new position, stern still secured in original position. Sadly looks more and more like a total loss.😧 #HelgeIngstadpic.twitter.com/NRueYH5bzY
— Daniel Wilson (@danielw_rosala) November 13, 2018
While the sinking ship has so far not been pinned on Russia, any such false accusation wouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise. Finland’s prime minister already found a way to blame his country’s malfunctioning GPS signal during the drills on the Kremlin.
The Trident Juncture drills involved 50,000 participants from 31 NATO and partner countries. Around 250 aircraft, 65 vessels, and up to 10,000 vehicles were also involved.
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