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Sunday, 27 October, 2002, 16:34 GMT
Navy frigate damaged in ferry collision
Crew member Kim Davidson surveys the damage on HMS St Albans
A crew member stands next to the damage
The Navy's newest warship suffered major damage after it was hit by a ferry blown off course by heavy winds.

The P&O ship, the Pride Of Portsmouth, was about to dock at its berth in Portsmouth harbour, when it was hit by gale force winds.

The ferry, travelling from the French port of Le Havre, was blown into the frigate HMS St Albans at 0530 GMT on Sunday, according to P&O Ferries' spokeswoman Penny Guy.

Ms Guy said none of the 850 passengers and 130 crew on board the ferry were injured and that the collision had caused a small gash to its bow above the waterline.

Sea trials

HMS St Albans, a type 23 frigate, was handed over to the Navy in November and was due to undergo sea trials before being deemed seaworthy.

The P&O ferry - the Pride Of Portsmouth - PA
The ferry was damaged above the water line

The collision caused damage to several parts of the deck, the gun deck, the sea boat supports and the bridge wing of the frigate.

A Royal Navy spokesman said none of the 37 crew on board the frigate were injured.

"HMS St Albans is the navy's newest warship and hasn't entered operational service yet," he said.

Collision

"The significant damage means that she can't go out to sea and will have to go into dock to be examine and repaired."

Ms Guy said after the collision the ferry had docked as usual.

"The ferry has been taken out of service but there was no significant damage and we expect her to go back into service later today."

Three months ago Britain's high-tech Type 42 destroyer HMS Nottingham hit rocks off the coast of Australia and punctured its hull.

The vessel, with 253 crew on board, was on a routine trip from Cairns, in Queensland, north-east Australia, to Wellington, in New Zealand.


Click here to go to Southampton
See also:

27 Oct 02 | Wales
22 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
15 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
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