Exposed to radiation during naval Exercise

One crew member of "KV Nordkapp" is still reported sick after being exposed to radiation during the "Northern Eagle" exercise. (Photo: Forsvaret)

Five crew members of the Norwegian coast guard vessel “KV Nordkapp” were exposed to radar radiation during the “Northern Eagle” naval exercise in August.


The Norwegian coast guard believes the radiation came from radars aboard “USS Farragut”, but U.S. Navy officials deny the accusations. 

The incident happened during a drill together with the U.S. destroyer “USS Farragut” outside the coast of Finnmark on August 24, but was only made public on September 3. 

“The crew suddenly got technical problems with the vessel – equipment simply shut down by itself”, Commodore Lars Saunes explains to NRK. “They felt that their skin got warm from the radiation they were exposed to and asked the American vessel to turn off its radar”.

After collecting advice from medical and technical specialists, the potential danger was considered as limited and the vessel continued its operations. Later several of the crew members showed symptoms of exposure to radiation, the Norwegian Armed Forces’ web site reads.

One person was hospitalized and four others sent to medical care in Tromsø, where “KV Nordkapp” arrived after finishing the exercise in Severomorsk on August 27.  

U.S. Navy: - did not radiate
“USS Farragut” did not send out any radar radiation close to “KV Svalbard”, the U.S. Navy states in a preliminary conclusion after having inspected the log and reports from the crew of the American vessel. The radar systems on “USS Farragut” are constructed to shut down whenever there is another vessel nearby. The incident will still be investigated by the U.S Navy, NRK writes.  

The Norwegian Joint Headquarters has appointed a commission to investigate the incident.