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Tuesday, 11 September, 2001, 06:47 GMT 07:47 UK
Divers sent to help warship
HMS Campbeltown
HMS Campbeltown was on a memorial voyage
A team of Royal Navy divers has been dispatched to Norway to inspect a British warship that ran aground.

HMS Campbeltown was nearing the end of a voyage to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Allied convoys to Russia in World War II.

The ship had also been involved in paying tribute to the sailors who died on the Russian submarine Kursk last year.

It is feared the Type 22 Frigate has damaged a propeller.

It's pretty expensive when this sort of thing happens - rocks and ships don't mix

Mike Critchley, Warship World
It hit a sandbank while making way for a large ferry that was entering Tromso harbour on Wednesday.

Fifteen members of the Royal Navy's Southern Diving Unit, based at Plymouth, flew out to Norway this week to assess the damage.

The ship was pulled off the bank - a mixture of sand and rocks - by Norwegian tugs, within two hours.

'Not recommended'

A Royal Navy spokesman said: "There's a team of divers going up there to confirm the situation.

"There is possible damage to the stern shaft and propeller."

The spokesman said it was not clear how Captain Alistair Halliday's ship hit the bank.

Mike Critchley, editor of Warship World, said running aground was "not recommended"

He said: "It was obviously getting out of the way of a ferry.

"There's a thing called the rule of the road about who gives way, and it doesn't matter if it's a warship or a canoe.

"It's pretty expensive when this sort of thing happens - rocks and ships don't mix."

Steam home

The ship was due back in Plymouth on Tuesday this week.

It was not clear whether it would be able to steam home.

Five Royal Navy ships grounded in 2000, according a information given in parliament last year.

One of them was the frigate HMS Grafton, which hit rocks in Oslo Fiord.

See also:

31 Aug 01 | Europe
Veterans remember Arctic convoys
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