Wrecked Norwegian navy frigate “KNM Helge Ingstad” is seen in this Norwegian Coastal Administration handout picture in Oygarden, Norway, November 13, 2018. Jakob Ostheim/Norwegian Coastal Administration/Handout vis REUTERS
As you probably know by now, a Norwegian frigate was involved in a collision with a much bigger tanker. The Captain chose to run the frigate aground in hopes of preventing it from sinking. Fortunately only eight people were injured and remarkably there were not deaths.
The frigate Helge Ingstad was inbound at 17 knots and the tanker Solas had gotten underway shortly before and was outbound at 7 knots.
The frigate is a bit smaller than the US Navy destroyers Fitzgerald and John S. McCain, damaged in collisions in 2017
, but there was a similarity to these earlier collisions. None of the three ships had its Automatic Identification System (AIS) activated.
As reported by Defense News
, in this case, failure to energize the AIS “…seems to have delayed recognition by central control
(Vessel Traffic System–Chuck) and the other ships in the area that Ingstad was inbound and heading into danger…”
OK, I can understand turning off your AIS when in open sea, in an attempt to provide a degree of operational security, but if you are in congested waters there is no point. In fact you could use a bogus AIS or some kind of generic AIS, but if you are going to moor within hours in a city or if you have just gotten underway, it buys you nothing.
Turning on the AIS ought to be on every Special Sea Detail checklist.
Photo: Royal Norwegian Navy
More here, here, here. and here.
Below: Photos of the damage to the KNM Helge Ingstad after its collision with a tanker in a Norwegian fjord. Credit:
gCaptain has provided a video screen grab showing AIS (Automatic Identification System) tracks in the Singapore Strait including that of the oil tanker Alnic MC for the time of Monday’s collision with the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain which apparently occurs about 50 seconds in, you may want to go to full screen.
Note there was no AIS track for the McCain, just as there was no AIS track for USS Fitzgerald at the time of her collision two months earlier.
I appreciate the need for security, but perhaps in highly congested areas in peacetime, it would be advisable to turn on AIS.