HMS Prince of Wales springs an engine room leak

Scuppered! Britain’s £3.1bn aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has a 3ft water leak in its engine room — its second deluge in the past five months

  • HMS Prince of Wales suffered a leak in the £3.1-billion vessel’s engine room 
  • It is the second time the  new aircraft carrer has suffered a leak this year
  • Members of the ship’s crew filmed the water cascading into the compartment
  • None of the vessel’s crew were injured  

Britain’s newest aircraft carrier flooded to the depth of 3ft after a water leak in the engine room.

It is the second time HMS Prince of Wales – a £3.1billion state-of-the-art ship – has flooded in the past five months.

Footage filmed by crew members showed water gushing down the stairs and submerging electrical cabinets and pipes.

A water leak led to three feet of flooding on board HMS Prince of Wales, pictured, though none of the ship’s crew were injured

One of the sailors can be heard saying: ‘That’s deep. Oh s***. That’s one metre above the floor.’ Navy sources confirmed that the water was at least 3ft deep at one point and flooded an engine compartment. Nobody was hurt in the incident and the Royal Navy is investigating the precise cause of the leak.

An internal system developed a fault causing the flood on board the 65,000-ton warship while it was at its home port of Portsmouth Naval Base on Thursday.

It is the second time that the warship has developed a leak. In May a video emerged of water pouring through the ceiling into an accommodation area.

It is understood that most of the water from the recent leak has now been removed and put into a holding tank before it is pumped off into a barge. A Royal Navy spokesman said that an investigation had been launched into the leak but said the extent of any damage was still being assessed.

It is the second time in five months that there has been a flooding problem on board the vessel

It is the second time in five months that there has been a flooding problem on board the vessel

‘Following an issue with an internal system in HMS Prince of Wales, the ship’s company removed water from one of the ship’s compartments,’ he said. ‘No one was injured and an investigation into the cause of the issue is under way.’

In January more than 100 sailors had to abandon the ship and spend the night on their sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, after HMS Prince of Wales suffered a power cut in Portsmouth harbour. Sources blamed a problem with its generators and electrical back-up.

And in July last year HMS Queen Elizabeth had to cut short sea trials after a seal burst, causing a large quantity of water to pour from a pipe and to flood through several decks.

The ship’s then commanding officer Captain Steve Moorhouse said that in his experience leaks were a ‘weekly’ problem for warships.

In 2017, HMS Queen Elizabeth also faced multi-million pound repairs after it was discovered that a faulty seal on a propeller shaft was letting in 200 litres of sea water an hour.

The identical aircraft carriers – built in Scotland for £6.2billion – are the Navy’s largest and most powerful ships ever. They are due to serve the country for the next 50 years. 

Inside Britain’s most powerful warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth

At 280 metres long, with a lifespan of half a century and a flight deck of four acres, HMS Queen Elizabeth is Britain’s largest and most powerful warship ever built.

Here are the facts and figures behind the vessel which was officially commissioned into the Royal Navy December 7, 2017

HMS Queen Elizabeth, pictured,  weighs some 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots and a four-acre flight deck

HMS Queen Elizabeth, pictured, weighs some 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots and a four-acre flight deck

  • The aircraft carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed in excess of 25 knots.
  • A number of ship building yards around the country were involved in the build – these include Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow, Appledore in Devon, Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, Wirral, A&P on the Tyne in Newcastle and Portsmouth.
  • A total of 10,000 people worked on construction of the ship, made up in sections at yards around the UK and transported to Rosyth, Fife, where it was assembled.
  • It is the second ship in the Royal Navy to be named Queen Elizabeth.
  • The ship has a crew of around 700, that will increase to 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are embarked.
  • There are 364,000 metres of pipes inside the ship, and from keel to masthead she measures 56 metres, four metres more than Niagara Falls.
  • Facilities onboard include a chapel, a medical centre and 12-bed ward, staffed with GPs, a nurse and medical assistants, as well as a dentist and dental nurse.
  • There are also five gyms on the warship which include a cardiovascular suite, two free weight rooms and a boxing gym.
  • Regular fitness circuit sessions and sporting activities such as basketball and tug of war are held in the hangar and on the flight deck, with weights and other items stored inside the flight deck ramp. 
  • The Captain of the ship was Angus Essenhigh
  • There are five galleys on the warship which is where the food is cooked and those on board eat their meals everyday. This includes two main galleys, the bridge mess and an aircrew refreshment bar.
  • The distribution network on board manages enough energy to power 30,000 kettles or 5,500 family homes.
  • Its flight deck is 280 metres long and 70 metres wide, enough space for three football pitches.
  •  The entire ship’s company of 700 can be served a meal within 90 minutes, 45 minutes when at action stations.
  • Recreational spaces enjoyed by the crew feature televisions and sofas, as well as popular board games including the traditional Royal Navy game of Uckers.
  • Each of the two aircraft lifts on HMS Queen Elizabeth can move two fighter jets from the hangar to the flight deck in 60 seconds.
  • The warship has a range of 8,000 to 10,000 nautical miles, and has two propellers – each weighing 33 tonnes and with a combined 80MW output of power – enough to run 1,000 family cars or 50 high speed trains. 


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