Ship damaged in action
A Royal Navy ship suffered ‘comparatively modest damage’ during action off the Falklands last night.
No casualties were reported, and the damage to the unnamed ship has been repaired. She has now rejoined the task force operationally, it is understood.
Defence Ministry spokesman Mr Ian McDonald refused to go into any details about the damaged ship. But it is believed she was hit after the shooting down of two Sky Hawk fighter bombers which were escorting supply flights into the Falklands.
A third Argentine Sky Hawk aircraft mounted a series of attacks on the task force ships and it was during this phase that the damage was caused.
Later, a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from HMS Hermes ditched into the sea.
It was not involved in any action against Argentine forces.
The crew was picked up safely.
Mr McDonald said he had no reports that the damaged ships had been hit by a torpedo.
In variable weather - described as ‘average early winter weather for the South Atlantic’ - there were no reports of further engagements.
Mr. McDonald announced that, after five weeks as the Ministry’s spokesman on the Falklands, he would be taking a three-day break. A colleague would take over his role.
Meanwhile, Argentine President Leopoldo Galtieri today told three British journalists that Argentina was willing to reach a peaceful solution to the Falklands crisis.
They had been abducted yesterday as they were leaving the Argentine Foreign Ministry.
Speaking of the Falklands, General Galtieri told the TV men: ‘Argentina wants to reach a non-military solution to the problem.’
BBC should back Britain
The Portsmouth North MP (Mr Peter Griffiths) is among 24 angry Conservative members who have signed a House of Commons motion calling for the BBC to back Britain in its coverage of the Falkland Islands crisis.
The motion expresses ‘dismay’ that some BBC programmes on the Falklands give the impression of being pro-Argentine and anti-British.
‘Others appear to suggest that the invasion of these British islands is a matter for which the BBC is entitled to remain loftily neutral. If it cannot speak up for Britain it should at least not speak against it,’ it continues.
Warship to begin trials
Britain’s newest guided-missile destroyer, HMS Liverpool, is expected to arrive at Portsmouth tomorrow to begin sea trials and other tests.
Finishing touches to the warship, which was accepted into the Royal Navy at a Devonport ceremony yesterday, are being speeded up in case she is needed for duty in the South Atlantic.
Normally there is a six to nine month work-up period from acceptance to operational duty.
It was originally thought that the £85m destroyer would be fitted with the new Sea Wolf missile system, the Navy’s best defence against the Exocet missile, which destroyed her sister ship, the Sheffield.
Trust pays up
The cash-conscious Mary Rose Trust will have to dig deep into its coffers to pay for the right to keep the Tudor warship in Portsmouth Dockyard.
Trust members have agreed to pay the Ministry of Defence £71,000 for the first 12 months after the vessel is towed to dry dock as part of the £4m lifting operation.
The Mary Rose - which sank off Portsmouth in 1545 - will remain in Number 3 Dock until a decision is made on her final resting place.