A MACHINERY fire on board a Type 45 destroyer delayed its departure from Portsmouth.
Family and friends wishing to bid their loved ones goodbye were left waiting for seven-and-a-half hours after the incident on board HMS Dragon yesterday.
A spokesperson for Portsmouth Naval Base has confirmed the warship ‘incurred a small fire in a machinery space while alongside’ on Monday morning.
She was initially due to depart at 11am, but left Portsmouth at 6.30pm when a sailing window became available.
No personnel were injured in the blaze and the spokesperson said the fire was ‘rapidly extinguished’ by members of HMS Dragon’s crew.
As previously reported, the ship is now on its way to the Gulf – where she will be focused on providing regional maritime security, including counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling activities.
Yesterday, people awaiting HMS Dragon’s departure were given live updates from the warship’s Twitter feed.
One message, sent at 1.33pm, said: ‘So sorry to all those waiting to wave us off but we are delayed until later today.
‘Unfortunately we had a small issue that is best resolved alongside rather than after sailing. ‘Very much hoping to be away this evening, but we’ll keep you informed. Sorry again #gutted.’
Another minutes later added: ‘The EWO and Chaplain are headed over to Round Tower now to chat to any families still there.
‘They’ll give everyone a bit more information. Suffice to say, no need to worry.’
Portsmouth Naval Base has said the incident will now be subject to a ‘full and thorough investigation’.