The Royal Navy has announced that an investigation is underway after two British warships collided in a port in Bahrain. The incident took place on two specialized mine-detecting ships, HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Bangor.
Videos widely shared on social media show HMS Sidingfold capsizing and colliding with HMS Bonker in a Middle Eastern port. No one was injured in the incident, the Defense Ministry said, declining to comment on the nature of the clash pending investigations.
The ships are part of a long-standing presence in the Gulf
Both ships are part of the UK's enduring presence in the Gulf. As specialist mine-sweeping vessels, they help ensure the safe flow of trade across the seas, the Royal Navy said.
There are previous incidents with HMS Chiddingfold
Interestingly, this is not the first time that HMS Chiddingfold has been involved in a similar incident. In 2021, still off the coast of Bahrain, the ship collided with HMS Penzance, a ship of the same class as HMS Bangor.
“We are aware of the incident involving two minesweepers in Bahrain. “There was no loss of life in the incident and it is inappropriate to comment further while investigations are underway,” a Defense Ministry spokesperson said.
In turn, Rear Admiral Edward Ahlgren said the cause of the conflict was “still being established”.
“We train our people to the highest standards and strictly implement machine safety standards, but unfortunately incidents like this can still happen,” he told PA news agency.
A full and thorough investigation “is already underway,” Rear Admiral Algren revealed, “and any procedural changes that could prevent future incidents will be quickly implemented.”
Footage not verified by the BBC showed what appeared to be a large hole in HMS Bangor's fiberglass hull after the collision. Expected to be decommissioned next year, HMS Bangor is now showing signs of severe damage from the latest conflict.
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