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

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

Saturday, 5th November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:52 pm
The moment of impact shared between HMS Berwick, left, and HMS Phoebe, right, as they gently collided .PPP-160111-151503001

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.

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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.’