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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May, 2003, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
HMS Nottingham set for anniversary refloat
HMS Nottingham
The ship is to be refloated in Portsmouth
Royal Navy engineers are hoping to refloat the crippled warship HMS Nottingham exactly one year after it hit a rock in the Pacific Ocean and nearly sank.

The Type 42 destroyer is currently undergoing 26m worth of repairs after running aground near Lord Howe Island, 200 miles off the coast of Australia, in the summer of 2002.

Plans to flood the dry dock in Portsmouth, Hampshire, where the work is being carried out, have been pencilled in for 7 July, the anniversary of the collision.

Major work would still need to be completed on the 3,560-tonne vessel and sea trials carried out before she returned to frontline duties.

A Ministry of Defence official said the date was a coincidence, adding: "The plan is to try to refloat her (on July 7) but it's still a massive job.

208m repairs

"It will be on or around that date."

The MOD said recently that it cost about 3m to bring HMS Nottingham back to the UK from Sydney, welded to the back of the Dutch-registered heavy lifting vessel MV Swan.

Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram told the House of Commons in January that once repairs were completed, she will have cost the taxpayer 208m in building, major refit, salvage and repairs.

Engineers from Fleet Support Services are working to replate Nottingham's hull after it was ripped open from bow to bridge on the well-charted Wolf Rock.

It is understood that once she is back in the water, she will move to a jetty at the south coast naval base for work inside the hull which is likely to last well into 2004.

A Royal Navy Board of Inquiry into what caused the collision has yet to report.



LINKS TO MORE HAMPSHIRE/DORSET STORIES


 

SEE ALSO:
Medals for HMS Nottingham crew
29 Apr 03  |  Nottinghamshire
Crippled warship's 3 million bill
13 Jan 03  |  UK News
Battered warship is refloated
13 Dec 02  |  England
Crippled warship to be refloated
09 Dec 02  |  UK News


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