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Royal Navy sailors rushed to hospital after drinking water on HMS Portland is ‘contaminated’ in ‘serious situation’ – as scientists are scrambled to assess the damage to the frigate
- HMS Portland reportedly diverted today after drinking water was ‘contaminated’
- The ship returned to Portsmouth as a ‘precautionary measure’, it was confirmed
Royal Navy sailors were rushed to hospital today after drinking contaminated water on a ship, it has been alleged.
Frigate HMS Portland was diverted to Portsmouth Naval Base today after a sailor noticed the warship’s drinking water had been ‘contaminated’ by chemicals.
A defence source told MailOnline a number of sailors have been taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
The source said: ‘The situation is quite serious. The ship has done everything they should do. They found out about it this morning and came alongside in Portsmouth.
‘They have got scientists on board investigating. The water has been contaminated by something. A number of personnel have been taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital for treatment.’
Frigate HMS Portland (pictured) was said to have diverted to Portsmouth Naval Base today after a sailor noticed the warship’s drinking water had been ‘contaminated’
The Royal Navy confirmed that ‘a small number of personnel’ were taken to hospital
A Royal Navy spokeman said: ‘We can confirm that HMS Portland has returned to HMNB Portsmouth as a precautionary measure, following an issue with one of the ship’s fresh water systems.
‘The health and safety of our personnel is of the utmost importance and we are taking a number of measures to safeguard the ship’s company whilst the issue is investigated.’
The Royal Navy also confirmed that ‘a small number of personnel’ were taken to hospital ‘as a precaution’ but it is unclear how severe their injuries are.
‘HMS Richmond has been stood up to cover any contingencies,’ the spokesman added.
MailOnline has approached the NHS for comment.
It is understood the problem was caused following a mix-up by a young engineer, who alerted rapidly alerted senior sailors on the ship of the error.
‘If they were not to do that this could have been a whole lot worse,’ a naval source told The Sun.
‘Integrity and honesty are key components of the Royal Navy and we are glad they have been upheld.’
The warships use fresh water reverse osmosis and on this occasion the engineer is believed to have put the wrong chemicals in the wrong hole.
It is currently unclear what injuries were sustained during the HMS Portland incident
A defence source told MailOnline that a number of sailors have been taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth
HMS Portland – launched in 1999 – is used by the Royal Navy for a number of purposes including security operations and warfighting.
The 4,900-tonne ship is currently being upgraded to receive new radars, engines and a sea-based supersonic missile defence system.
Reports of water contamination comes just weeks after HMS Portland announced that it was monitoring Russian warship Admiral Gorshkov and its accompanying tanker Kama as they sail into the North Sea.
The Russian vessel is armed with new Mach 9 nuclear-capable Zircon missiles, which travel at speeds of nearly 7,000mph, as well as Kalibr missiles.
Reports come after HMS Portland announced that it was monitoring Russian warship
HMS Portland departed from its home port at Plymouth on Saturday, January 7, and was also reported to be equipped with ‘cutting-edge sonars, sensors and torpedoes for specialist operations’.
In a statement, HMS Portland’s Commanding Officer Commander Ed Moss-Ward said: ‘Escorting warships in UK territorial waters and the adjacent sea areas is routine activity for the Royal Navy.’