The commanding officer of the HMS Queen Elizabeth has said that leaks are a “weekly” problem for warships, after the carrier suffered water pouring through several decks.
captain Steve poorhouse insisted that the Royal Navy’s 3 billion Euro warship was safe and ready for deployment to the US.
The 65,000-tonne vessel was assembled in Rosyth Dockyard from sections built in six UK shipyards, including BAE in Glasgow.
It was forced to cut short sea trials and return to Portsmouth Naval Base last month after a seal burst, allowing water to pour from a pipe.
Earlier a shaft seal failure caused water to leak into the ship, while the sprinkler system was accidentally triggered in the hangar.
Capt. Moorhouse said: “This is the sixth ship I have been the captain of, it’s been a huge privilege for me in the Royal Navy, and I reckon the average is a flood a week in every ship I have been captain of.
“The design is world class but it’s inevitable that seals and valves can fail if you haven’t run systems for years.
“Floods are part of the business. The really reassuring thing is that my sailors responded exactly as you would want them to.”
He said the cost of the leak was limited to surveying and replacing lagging.
Commodore Mike Utley, commander of the UK Maritime Strike Group, said: “We have surveyed across this ship and the [sister ship] Prince of Wales and we are completely content that we are good to go. These ships are safe to operate.
“I’m surrounded by professional sailors and there is no way any of us would take an unsafe ship to sea. This ship is absolutely spot on.
“We had a problem in this ship with a pipe leaked, we fixed the leak, we will move on.”
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