February 4, 2023

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Pål Andre Gustavson thought he was going to die – NRK Westland

On Friday, November 8, 2018, Pål André Gustavson woke up suddenly in the dark with a thunderclap.

He is in his cabin on the KNM “Helge Ingstad” – where he works as a deputy constable and trainee cook.

The sound of beating is getting closer and closer to him. The warship collided with the tanker KNM “Helge Ingstad”.

– I prepare myself: now I die immediately, or I drown. It’s a fight for survival, he says on the podcast Full story.

On Monday, the trial against the “Helge Ingstad” warden begins. Office of the Public Prosecutor He thinks he acted negligently He was responsible for the navigation of the ship before the accident.

Small margins are an accident where no lives are lost.

Prosecutor Magne Kwamme Silda believes that some areas of the severity that Gustavson and others have experienced have not come close enough in the past.

– When the conflict took place, many young people lost their lives. It speaks to a seriousness that hasn’t been made clear enough before, says Silda earlier told NRK.

KNM “Helge Ingstad” before the accident.

Photo: Marius Vagines Willanger / Armed Forces

Swallowed sea water

– I felt that the drama was not reflected in any way. “It’s about how useless we were in the Navy,” says Anna Bach, a naval officer on board.

Bach and apprentice chef Gustavson will both testify at the trial.

In Gustavsson’s cabin, the wall is raised just above the surface of the water by an anchor on the tanker “Sola”.

His cabin is smashed.

The helicopter drenches him with fuel from a ruptured hose. Sea spray wins.

And people have started shouting “Flood” – the water is coming in.

– I scream “Flood” at the top of my lungs. Eventually, I can’t take it anymore and have to stop swallowing seawater, says Gustavson.

The side of the ship folds down to become a small deck. Gustavsson and others had to climb the ledge barefoot in their boxers.

Water rises in the cabin. A broken-down chef fears that frayed power cables will electrocute him.

– I see purple, white and blue lightning running between high voltage cables. It shines, intimate and deadly, he says.

Pictures from the inside, which have not been published before, show extensive damage:

The interior of Helge Inkstad after the accident

Ship after ship the interior shows extensive destruction.

The interior of Helge Inkstad after the accident

A man who had to rescue two officers from a room was shocked.

CnmBSxB8f2U Helge Ingstad

The battleship was so badly damaged that it was cut into thousands of pieces.

A trainee electrician pulls out one of the cables. It short circuits in water.

The air smells of salt water, insulation, helicopter fuel and electrified steel.

“People are dead”

Above him stands naval officer Anna Bach. She is trapped in the cabin and believes the people are dead.

– I see people below, hanging on the edge, looking out to sea. I rattle it off and tell them, “Now get the hell out.”


But she had no answer.

– So I think “Here are the dead, here are those who are cast out and dragged into the sea,” he says..

She believes the people are dead until they evacuate the ship.

For Gustavsson, the only option is to go to the floor above. He takes a gamble and climbs into the space forward on the outside of the ship.

Damage to KNM Helge Ingstad

The walls of many rooms collapsed.

Photo: John Polstad / NRK

He keeps it safe. But he had to go to the warship’s emergency room to treat deep cuts on his legs after boarding.

Ten minutes after impact, the warship hits the ground. A warship of more than 5,000 tons is docked at the shore.

After 20 minutes, it is clear that all the crew are safe. Eight people were injured.

6RoX68f3s3I Helge Ingstad

The crew tried to pump water from the ship.

Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTP

The process of dewatering the warship begins. But it doesn’t help.

Evacuation begins 45 minutes after the accident.

– A lot of tears were shed

After being evacuated from the boat, the crew was sent to the Haakonswern military base.

Mattresses, clothes, food, drink and many psychologists are ready.

Helge Ingstad after the collision

Helge Ingstad after the collision. The battleship sustained a major wound on the starboard side.

Photo: NRK

– A lot of tears were shed. It was quiet in there, but you could hear people thinking. I thought a lot about how it could have gone and what we could have done differently, says Bjørn Jøran Moen, who was on board at the time of the accident.

The crew was briefed several times, but the goal was to get them quickly “on horseback,” ie back on board.

The crew themselves Helps lift the ship.

KNM Helge Ingstad underwater

The warship ended up completely submerged.

Photo: Kystvakten/Forsvaret Kystverket / Kystverket, Kystvakten/Forsvaret

Apprentice chef Paul Andre Gustavson was more motivated to continue in the armed forces after the accident, but also said he could. Half a year after the accident I woke up in a complete panic.

He currently works as a pastry chef at a bakery in Oslo.

Naval officer Pak was also injured in the accident.

– then felt the consequences. “I reacted very strongly to loud noises in the first weeks and months,” she says on the podcast.

Helge Ingstad 14 November at Stuterminalen

“Helge Ingstad” underwater.

Photo: Jakob Østheim / Armed Forces

Odors can also trigger reactions.

– Inside the site at Håkonsvern, I remember the burning smell of construction work. Then I had a complete flashback and my whole body froze for two seconds. For a while I felt better about which was the fastest way. It doesn’t matter where I am, says Anna Bach.

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