Video: Royal Navy Minehunter Backs into Fleet Mate Docking in Bahrain
The UK’s Royal Navy will be dealing with an embarrassing video that is beginning to make the rounds on social media. Two of the navy’s elite minehunters, HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Bangor, based in Bahrain, were involved in an accident in which the Chiddingfold hit the Bangor. Both vessels are reported to have sustained damage but none of the personnel were injured.
A spokesperson for the Royal Navy is confirming the incident – it is hard to deny with the video online – but they are not providing any insights if there were weather conditions, mechanical issues, or a misjudgment in maneuvering. Reports are that a team is traveling to Bahrain to assess the full extent of the damage and investigate the circumstances. Unconfirmed comments from observers point to a likely serious mechanical malfunction which appears to be borne out in the video where the vessel appears to be reversing at speed and continues even after making contact.
"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 Royal Navy is responding to media inquiries.
Video of the incident was obtained and released by claimsbible.com a military injury claims specialist company.
Commissioned in 1983, the Chiddingfold is on long-term assignment in the Persian Gulf region as part of Operation Kipion to maintain freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce. She is one of eight Hunt Class minehunters in the Royal Navy with six officers and 39 ratings aboard.
HMS Bangor is newer, commissioned in 1999, and according to the reports was secured alongside at the berth in Bahrain. She is one of seven Sandown Class Mine Counter-Measures Vessels in the Royal Navy. With a complement of 39 personnel, she has teams including Mine Warfare Specialists and Mine Clearance Divers. She is normally homeported in Scotland.
Last September, the Royal Navy highlighted the two vessels practicing close maneuvers and force protection skills as part of a training exercise with the Qatari Naval Force. During the exercise, they reported that the two vessels cooperated with the Qataris and practiced sailing in close quarters, to test the skills and abilities of the ships’ bridge teams.
As minehunters, they are made of unique materials to fulfill their roles without detection. According to the reports, the hulls are a composite of glass-reinforced plastic to reduce the threat from mines.
The Royal Navy is only saying that a plan of action will be developed after the investigation and inspection of both vessels.