HMS Queen Elizabeth could leave Portsmouth tomorrow, seafarers are warned

MARINERS are being warned of the possible departure of HMS Queen Elizabeth from Portsmouth tomorrow.

Thursday, 1st February 2018, 12:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st February 2018, 12:57 pm
HMS Queen Elizabeth as she left Portsmouth for the first time last year Photo: LPhot Rory Arnold

The aircraft carrier, which is the biggest ever built by Britain, has a window to potentially leave the city at 12.40pm.

However, this is subject to last-minute changes and could still be called off at the 11th hour, the Royal Navy said.

The news comes after an initial window for departure on Tuesday was pushed back due to issues with the £3.1bn aircraft carrier’s sprinkler system.

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On Sunday it’s understood the firefighting system was accidentally triggered, causing large jets of water to cascade into the 65,000-tonne warship’s hangar.

Engineers have been working to rectify the issue, which the navy insisted would have no impact on plans to continue the behemoth’s next phase of trials at sea.

When Queen Elizabeth does eventually leave the city she will be taking on rotary wing trials.

The tests will see helicopters landing on and taking off from the supercarrier’s four-acre flight deck.

She is expected to remain at sea for more than a month, which could see also see her visiting Gibraltar for the first time.

For up-to-date information on whether the carrier will leave tomorrow, follow the Portsmouth Naval Base’s Twitter account at: @HMNBPortsmouth