Royal Navy soldiers fall ill after drinking water ‘contaminated’ on HMS Portland
A number of Royal Navy sailors have fallen ill aboard the HMS Portland and been taken to hospital after drinking contaminated water.
The warship returned to the Portsmouth naval base today after a sailor realised there was an issue with the drinking water on board.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed the water contamination onboard and said a small number of people were taken to hospital as a precaution.
It is not yet clear how many people onboard have become ill after drinking the contaminated water.
The HMS Portland utilises a reverse osmosis water system which purifies seawater and makes it safe for consumption for those aboard.
It is understood that a junior engineer got the chemical mix wrong and caused the issue.
The contamination comes just weeks after the HMS Portland was scrambled to track Russian warships.
The Royal Navy said the Type 23 frigate was monitoring the Russian guided missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov and accompanying tanker Kama as they sailed in international waters near the UK.
HMS Portland‘s commanding officer Commander Ed Moss-Ward said: “Escorting warships in UK territorial waters and the adjacent sea areas is routine activity for the Royal Navy.
“By maintaining a visible and persistent presence, the Royal Navy ensures compliance with maritime law and deters malign activity to protect our nation’s interests.
“Escorting the Russian task group alongside forces from our NATO allies has demonstrated the UK’s commitment to the alliance and to maintaining maritime security.”
The frigate underwent a major refit in 2021 and is adept at surface warfare and hunting submarines, the Royal Navy said.
Meanwhile, the Royal Navy has ordered an urgent investigation after workers on a nuclear-armed submarine fixed broken bolts using glue.
A Royal Navy spokesperson said: We can confirm that HMS PORTLAND has returned to HMNB Portsmouth as a precautionary measure, following an issue with one of the ship’s fresh water systems.
“The health and safety of our personnel is of the utmost importance and we are taking a number of measures to safeguard the ship’s company whilst the issue is investigated
“A small number of personnel were taken to hospital as a precaution and HMS Richmond has been stood up to cover any contingencies.”