Norway and Spain Blame Each Other
December 5, 2018
Norway blames [Spanish shipbuilder] Navantia for the sinking of the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad (F-313) after collusion with an oil tanker on November 8.
The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) claims to have detected a "critical" failure in the design of the ship. Navantia, however, says that it has not received official communication of the report nor has it been able to participate in the investigation. Spanish military experts question the Norwegian version, and stress that the accident was due to negligence.
The Appendix to the board’s preliminary report says that the failure would be related to the “watertightness” of the KNM Helge Ingstad.
The announcement of the investigation board’s report was received with stupor by Navantia. "We have no official communication of the report, we have not been consulted as to the possible causes, nor have participated in any of the proceedings," said a spokeswoman.
"Navantia offered from the beginning to collaborate with the Norwegian Navy on whatever was required. We are going to analyse the circumstances and the hypotheses that have been made public," she added. In any case, according to the public shipyard, "the design complies with all certifications and satisfies the sealing conditions applicable to military vessels".
Experts in naval accidents expressed surprise at the fact that the commission had reached these conclusions before re floating the ship and without the advice of the manufacturer.