HMS Queen Elizabeth’s navigating officer reveals how the Royal Navy warship avoided Hurricane Florence 

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HMS Queen Elizabeth has arrived in Virginia as the next stop of her three month trip to the US.

The 65,000-tonne carrier made its way to Norfolk after escaping the clutches of Hurricane Florence, which has been causing devastation over large areas of the east coast.

Type 26 frigates will help protect HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Royal Navy

Type 26 frigates will help protect HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Royal Navy

HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently completing flight trials before heading back to her home port of Portsmouth.

The crew, and the carrier’s escort HMS Monmouth, were forced to take evasive action to avoid the damaging winds.

Read more: Who is the captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth?

Instead of heading directly north from Mayport Naval Base last week, as previously planned, HMS Monmouth was dispatched to south of the Bahamas, which provided a natural windbreak and shelter from the strong swell.

HMS Queen Elizabeth followed on, moving to the south of the hurricane, but close enough for the effects to still be felt.

Read more: This is when HMS Queen Elizabeth will come home to Portsmouth

The effects of a four metre swell, five-metre wave height and winds gusting 40 knots were felt throughout the carrier, as the ship rolled around the Atlantic.

Navigating Officer, Lieutenant Commander Sam Stephens, said: ‘It might sound counter-intuitive to sail when you know there is bad weather inbound.

Read more: 43 facts you might not know about HMS Queen Elizabeth

‘But ships are designed to be at sea, it is better to not be tied up close to things that can cause damage, like jetties, or fenders.

‘We skirted around the south of the hurricane, it’s always better to be behind it and to be able to change direction if it decides to, rather than be ahead of it and find yourself trapped.’