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No. 569          Fredag/Friday, November 26. 1999  (updated Dec 3+ +)
Sleipnerulykken
The Sleipner disaster

Information mainly in English ( Norwegian speaking will find info from many other sources)
Changes friday August 22, 2000
About the accident / Om ulykken (first report)
Saturday search 
Names of the dead and missing passengers
Sunday evening report
Monday and Tuesday
Wednesday - friday *
Relevant archive pictures and articles 
New pictures Saturday morning 
Other sources of information 
Map showing the actual area
Mars 7-9 2000: The salvaging operation that failed
August 20, 2000: Salvage operation II: Moving the wreck from Bloksen to Lyngholmen.
August 21, 2000: The badly damaged wreck is salvaged

The Guest book
have greeting and condolances in connection to the disaster ( marked with ** )

Wednesday - friday *:
The last day's we have heard about the crew's attempts to release the raft's, without succeeding. Sleipner had 4 large rafts, each with room for 130 people. They were designed to be released from the bridge, or they should have been automatically released if the boat was sinking (at 4m). Only one did. And that blew away.

Some of the passengers tried to find raft's, but the large ones (only ones) were hidden - and had never been tried by the company. They were released in Australia, before the boats were delivered. 

Because of the raft problem, the sister ship "Draupner" was denied operation until the problem was solved.

The life saving belts have been criticized for being to difficult to use, with a nylon rope that was difficult to tie.

The information system with speakers did not work after the crash.. The captain gave his information, without reaching the passengers. Both the captain and the 1. officer were injured  when the boat hit the rocks. Today's newspaper tell us about the captain staying on the bridge until the water was reaching his chest. 

The Slettå area is one of the roughest on the Norwegian coast, but it has not  yet been properly marked with radar reflectors and light signal's. But - things seem to be happening fast now - after the tragedy. Last year, the money to do this, was given to other projects by the parliament. (Nov 26, 2009: The rock Bloksen was properly marked a year after the incident)

Most of the burial's have taken place this Thursday and Friday, with representatives from the shipsowner company present in all of them.

The investigation starts Monday, when the crew members will be questioned.

Tuesday evening *
The search vessel with the remote controlled mini submarine, have ended its mission, without finding more than the 2 persons mentioned sunday. It has done a thorough search through the inside of Sleipner, and the areas around the wreck at the bottom at 99m.

* The number of people expected to be on aboard, has been adjusted from 89 to 86.  That means we still are missing 3 persons.

The lifesaving equipment on board this brand new boat has been criticized. The life belt's where to difficult to use, and the raft's where to difficult to find and release. This will be among the things that we discuss in the days to come.

Monday morning
The search has experienced difficulties because of bad weather last night. This morning they report that Sleipner was not allowed to be used with more than 1m waves. When the incident happened, they had 3 m. Even though it was able to cope with more extreme weather, it was brand new, and had not yet been through all certifications. The weather at the moment is worse than on Friday afternoon.

11PM: Sunday evening
Reports in English only. Norwegian reports are available from other sources.
During sunday the remote controlled submarine has been used to bring up from the the bottom 2 of the missing persons. Of the 6 that still are missing, only 3 are known by name. 

More than 300 people from different aid organizations and other voluntaries have kept on the search along the shores and slope of naked rocks. Its a dangerous and strainful job, as the weather has worsened, with heavy rain and wind. But they have only found parts of the wreck, life savers and personal belongings from the boat. 

This afternoon, the Flaggruteboats started their activity again, after the tragic accident. But so far, they dont take the passengers across the Sletta-area, but use bus transport from Haugesund to Valevåg. 

Both the Norwegian prime minister, the ministers of the commerce and  justice departments have involved themselves, and 2 of them have been here on the west coast this weekend to follow the work. On Tuesday, H.M. king Harald arrives Haugesund to participate during the memorial service in Vår Frelsers church at 3PM. He will experience very bad weather, as the forecasts says storm from west!  Back to menu

Names of the dead and missing passengers:
The 11 passengers that has ben found dead, are:

  • Andreas Klubben, 78 år, Bømlo 
  • Jarle Siggervåg, 43 år , Bømlo 
  • Arna Judith Medhaug, 65 år, Karmøy 
  • Olaug Synnøve Medhaug, 48 år, Karmøy 
  • Terje Fagerbakk, 23 år, Fitjar 
  • Bjarte Tveit, 17 år, Kvinnherad 
  • Ruth Marit Haukøy, 51 år, Osterøy 
  • Kari Lisbeth Haga, 49 år, Fjell 
  • Roald Espeland, 22 år, Bergen 
  • Edvin Martin Hennes, 64 år, London, arbeidet på Stord Navzat Cakir,
  • Navzat Cakir, 40 år, Bergen (Curde refugee)
  • Vegar Dybdal, 10 år, Karmøy*
  • Sven Vaksdal, 52 år, Vaksdal/Stavanger*
* Found sunday besides the wreck

Still missing (Dec 3)

  • Leif Lorentz Larsen, 56, Stavanger
  • Arne Halvor Aasbø, 16, Haugesund
  • Dirk Wim Christer Følid, 18, Bergen


Sunday morning: 2 passengers observed outside the wreck at 99 m.
During the night Sleipner was found down at 99 m, 350 m away from the rocs Bloksene. The remote controlled mini submarine has observed the wreck, which is  is damaged in the bow region. 2 of the missing passengers were observed outside the boat. Later today, the submarine will enter Sleipner, to try to locate passengers still missing inside the wreck.

8 passengers missing
70, and not 69 of the people on board have been found. 1 passenger was not registered found and alive. 

 ( Dec 3: Later, the number of passengers have been reduced to 86 - the ferry company does not have name listings, they are just counting the passengers boarding. 3 passengers are still missing ) 

11PM: Saturday evening:
There are still 9 passengers missing. After having searched all day shoreside Bømlafjorden, only personal belongings and wrecked parts of the boat has been found. A new search vessel equipped to find Sleipner with a sonar, has also a remote controlled submarine on board. Sleipner is expected to be found at app. 35 m. After having located it, they will send the submarine down, to check if any of the missing passengers are still inside the wreck. Many of the survivors has reported panic and problems with leaving the boat fast enough when it suddenly was filled with water and sank at app 7.45PM Saturday. All the passengers and crew members were picked up from the wild ocean. Some of them stayed in the water for 1/2-1 hour before beeing saved. The few rafts in use, was trown out from some of the rescue vessels, and not from Sleipner itself. 

Tonight many planned events in western Norway has been called off, among them the Julebord-arrangement I myself should have participated in.

There will be held a memorial service in Vår Frelsers church in central Haugesund tuesday at 2PM. HM King Harald will be present.

The names of the dead are expected to be released tomorrow. The Flaggruteboat's does not have the names of their passenger's. This makes it difficult to know who is missing, and even to identify some of the dead. 
Back to menu

2PM: New pictures from the acciden area (Saturday before noon)
Men and women from different organisations like the Red Cross, Norsk Folkehjelp Sivil Guard took part in the search along the shores. They have a difficult and dangerous job when trying to find the missing 9 persons after the loss of Sleipner Friday evening. (see more below).  Back to menu

11-12AM: Bilder fra lørdag formiddag
Saturday morning pictures
Morgensolen når Ryvarden og det opprørte havet utenfor
Ryvarden lighthouse as the sun glimpses throuh this morning

Skjærene, Bloksene,  som Sleipner gikk på ligger midt i skipsleia
The rocks that Sleipner hit seen from Ryvarden

De samme skjærene sett fra Lyngholmen
The same rocks seen from north, on Lyngholmen

Letingen koordineres fra Buavåg
The search is coordinated from Buavåg

Herfra sendes mannskapene ut på søk ...
From here the search personell are sent out

langs svaberg med havet veltende rett inn
shoreside searching, with the ocean dangerously near

og inne i viker, som her ved Lyngholmen.
and in bays, like here by Lyngholmen

9 people are still to be found (Nov 27 at 2PM).

Back to menu

Saturday evening: 20 people expected dead after the Sleipner diaster
The brand new Flaggrutevessel "Sleipner"  ran aground and sank north of Haugesund at 7.30 PM friday. It happened in the northern part of the ocean Slettå 15-20 minutes after leaving Haugesund on its way to Leirvik and Bergen. It had 80 passengers and 8 crew members on board. The whole thing happened in bad weather, with a south western strong breeze / light storm and total darkness. 13 ships and 1 Sea King helicopter has participated in the search all night, and Saturday morning 11 people have been found dead, 9 are still missing and expected dead, while app. 68 are rescued. This makes this the worst disaster of its kind in Norway since the WW2.

After hitting the rock, Sleipner was stuck on it for app. 1/2 hour, and the passengers were told to wait in their seats. But when the boat skid off the rock, it was rapidly filled by water, and sank with the bow, while all passengers ran to the back part, where many of them followed the boat and had to save themselves by jumping into the 9-11C cold water. 

Many boats came to its rescue, among them Draupner, the similar Flaggruteboat on its way from Bergen to Haugesund.

Most of the passengers, and many of the dead, were student in the early 20's on their way home for the weekend.

Sleipner is one of the brand new vessels in the Flaggrute line from Stavanger to Bokn, Kopervik, Haugesund, Mosterhavn, Leirvik and Bergen. The boats are very well equipped with satelite based navigation, giving them an accuracy of 2-3 meters on electronic maps. They are very fast, with a cruising speed of almost 70 km/h. The ocean area north of Haugesund is very rough, but yesterdays weather conditions with hard wind and waves was not expected to be a problem for these boats and their very experienced crew. In very bad weather passengers normally are tranbsported in buses from haugesund to Valevåg, while the boats makes the Slettå-crossing with only the crew members on board.

Back to menu

Arkivmateriale / Former pictures relevant to this incident:
Bilde av Flaggrutebåten Sleipner i Smedasundet for 3 uker siden

Om bord på søsterskipet Draupner (Haugesund Today  Aug 22)
Pictures from the similar sister ship MV "Sleipner" -

Nordre Slettå i kuling 17. november i år
Bad weather in the actual area nov 17.

Skipsleden like nordvest for Ryvarden.
The disaster area (Mars 99)

Reportasje fra Ryvardenområdet (Mars 99)
The Ryvarden area (Haugesund Today mars 99)

** New:  Slettå kan være værhard i kuling
A Flaggruteboat on Slettå in rough weather (1998)

Forbi Kvalsvik lykt: Slettå kan være værhard i kuling
A Flaggruteboat on Slettå in rough weather (1998)

Slettå i kuling for en uke siden
Rough weather north of Haugesund one week ago

Back to menu

Andre kilder til informasjon:
Nettavisen (Norwegian)

TV2 har bred omtale av saken
Norwegian TV2 (in norwegian)

VG

Dagbladet

Bergens Tidende (Norwegian)

Back to menu



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Nov 28: Very hard wind, heavy rain. Wind increasing in the evening.
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