THIS WEEK IN 1971: Berwick and Phoebe: an unexpected kiss

The moment of impact shared between HMS Berwick, left, and HMS Phoebe, right, as they gently collided .PPP-160111-151503001
The moment of impact shared between HMS Berwick, left, and HMS Phoebe, right, as they gently collided .PPP-160111-151503001

Leaders are ‘feeling positive’

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Reputations and several yards of guard rail were damaged when HMS Berwick and HMS Phoebe collided in Portsmouth Harbour.

Berwick, a 2,800-ton frigate was heading for the sunshine of the West Indies as it left Portsmouth Harbour, crunching alongside HMS Phoebe – a vessel of the same class

Meanwhile, relatives waved goodbye from dry land, as loved ones set sail to serve their call of duty.

This was short-lived however, as both ships were then ordered to dock for damage assessment.

The two frigates later underwent repairs for the minor damage caused, while both ships’ captains were sent to have the egg removed from their faces.

As a result, Berwick’s journey to the West Indies was delayed.

Clad in tartan, Surgeon-Lieut White was playing bagpipes onboard HMS Berwick at the moment of impact.

He said: ‘I felt a slight shudder, but as the collision did not appear to be serious I continued playing,’ he said.

‘It was difficult though – because I was competing with the Royal Marines band on the quay.’