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 Monday, 13 January, 2003, 22:58 GMT
Crippled warship's 3 million bill
HMS Nottingham and The Swan
It took 10 hours to lift the ship onto the transporter
The Royal Navy warship HMS Nottingham, which ran into rocks off Australia's east coast last year, cost 3m to bring back to the UK, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

The type-42 destroyer hit rocks and holed her hull at Lord Howe Island in July 2002 and had to be carried back on the MV Swan.

She finally arrived in Portsmouth last month.

The warship's future had been in doubt after the accident, which nearly sank her and caused extensive damage, but she is having 23m of repairs to make her seaworthy.

Nottingham was welded on to the deck of the Swan for the journey from Sydney.

Replying to a Commons written question from Michael Wood (Lab Batley and Spen), Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram confirmed the 3m travel cost and said the inquiry into the accident was designed as an internal fact-finding exercise and would be kept confidential to encourage witnesses to come forward.

The destroyer HMS Glasgow has been "reactivated" to cover for Nottingham while the repairs take place.

HMS Nottingham is a batch two destroyer built in 1978.

In 1999 she was refitted at a cost of 55m.

A 160ft gash was torn in her hull by a submerged but well-charted rock in the Tasman Sea on 7 July.

A total of 253 crew were on a routine trip from Cairns, in Queensland, to Wellington, in New Zealand.

An initial Royal Navy inquiry found there had been lapses in procedure on the bridge of the Nottingham.


A 10-hour salvage operation sees the damaged British warship HMS Nottingham lifted on board a recovery ship at Australia's Sydney HarbourShipping moves
Images of warship salvage operation
See also:

13 Dec 02 | England
22 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
08 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
08 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
07 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
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