British warships collide in Persian Gulf (VIDEO)
Two UK Royal Navy minesweeper vessels have collided while docking in Bahrain, with one ship caught on video as it backed into the other.
A British military spokesperson has confirmed the mishap, saying the cause of the accident is still under investigation.
The crash took place on Thursday as the HMS Chiddingfold, a Hunt-class mine countermeasures ship, attempted to dock at an undisclosed location in the Gulf island state. As captured in a clip making the rounds online, the Chiddingfold was seen slamming into the bow of the Sandown-class minehunter HMS Bangor.
An unnamed military source cited by UK Defence Journal said that teams would be sent to review the damage and create a plan for repairs. A Royal Navy spokesperson also addressed the accident in a statement issued on Friday.
“We are aware of an incident concerning two Minehunters alongside in Bahrain. There are no casualties as a result of this incident and it would be inappropriate to comment further whilst investigations are ongoing,” the spokesperson said.
The aftermath of the crash was caught in another image, which showed a sizable hole in the Bangor’s hull.
Designed to locate and destroy naval mines, the HMS Chiddingfold is constructed of glass-reinforced plastic and other non-ferrous materials in order to reduce its magnetic signature. The Hunt-class minesweeper entered service in the 1980s, and serves a secondary role as an offshore patrol ship. It remains one of London’s primary mine-hunting vessels, and was equipped with advanced hull-mounted Sonar following a series of upgrades.
The Bangor, meanwhile, was commissioned in 2000 and is used to detect mines at depths of up to 200 meters (655 feet). The vessel took part in patrols off the Libyan coast in 2011 during the NATO intervention in the North African state, which saw the violent overthrow and murder of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi by Islamist militants. A Sandown-class Mine Countermeasures Vessel, the ship carries SeaFox naval drones used to assist mine-clearance divers during the disposal of explosives.