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Norway planned F-16 attack to stop drifting barge headed for Valhall

Norwegian authorities considered deploying an F-16 aircraft to destroy a barge that had broken from its moorings in the vicinity of rigs in the Valhall field in the North Sea on New Year’s Eve, it has emerged.

In rough seas, Eide Barge 33, owned by Eide Marine Services, broke away from the tug towing it. The giant barge was feared to be heading to Valhall, leading to 235 workers being evacuated by helicopter in the early hours of December 31 from BP Norway’s Valhall field.

It has now emerged that authorities did discuss whether scuttling the barge, which was unmanned, before it became apparent that its path was not likely to hit any offshore infrastructure.

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Hans Thaulow

Hans Henrik Thaulow is an Oslo-based journalist who has been covering the shipping industry for the last 15 years. As well as some work for the Informa Group, Hans was the China correspondent for TradeWinds. He also contributes to Maritime CEO magazine. Hans’ shipping background extends to working as a shipbroker trainee with Simpson, Spence & Young in Hong Kong.
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