Royal Navy's HMS Bronington: Prince Charles says it is 'humbling' to see efforts to save 'last of wooden walls' warship he once captained

PRINCE Charles said it was ‘humbling’ to see the efforts being made to save a Royal Navy warship once captained by him that has been left rotting.

By Steve Deeks
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 9:50 pm

The ship had the survey in June in order to identify the state of the hull before a decision was made on salvaging her.

The assessment was seen as pivotal in whether efforts to save the sunken vessel were realistic following a campaign by the Bronington Trust.

Picture: Prince of Wales greeting people on board the HMS Queen Elizabeth Picture: Habibur Rahman

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But a dive survey by Briggs Marine revealed ‘confidence ‘ Bronington can be salvaged.

Prince Charles, who was in Portsmouth last week to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, admitted he was ‘delighted’ with efforts to save Bronington before adding: ‘It is truly humbling to learn of the efforts you are going to in order to recover this historical naval vessel.’

HMS Bronington submerged at Mersey Docks

Mike McBride, of the trust, said last month: ‘The dive survey was an exceptionally successful occasion for the trust and more importantly HMS Bronington.

‘The dive survey was relayed to a shore-side screen by the divers on board camera and even though the visibility was far from good we were afforded some really good shots of the ship's hull as the diver progressed around the ship.

‘It has now been confirmed that with some preliminary work on the watertight integrity of the hull and internal debris/silt removal that she is salvageable.

‘The dive team were happy with the results of the survey, only finding two minor holes in the port bow, which they can easily make watertight for salvage and towing.’

Dive survey of HMS Bronington. Pic Phil Owen

No problems were found with the aluminium frame of the vessel.

The next stage of the salvage operation will see removal of debris and silt internally throughout the hull and the hull patched up to achieve watertight integrity, pump out and refloat.

Mike added the trust will now look to ‘achieve charitable status and future applications for grants and sponsorships’.

Lord Mountbatten watches as Prince Charles brings his minehunter HMS Bronington alongside at HMS Vernon, Portsmouth,