HMS Prince of Wales’ propeller shaft had not been greased properly, naval sources told the outlet
Human error may have led to Britain’s new HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier breaking down on Saturday, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources.
According to the article naval officials, who inspect the warship, arrived at a preliminary conclusion about the causes of the incident. The vessel was then stopped off the Isle of Wight.
“A lack of lubrication could have caused damage to the propeller shaft.” the media outlet reported, citing its sources. According to the paper, friction could have caused damage and overheated.
According to The Telegraph, the aircraft carrier may have to spend some time in dry dock for a thorough inspection and repairs, with a senior defense source quoted as saying that any “Significant damage to the starboard shaft” would prove to be a “This is a major issue that needs to be addressed.”
Director of Force Generation (which ensures Royal Navy ships are available for deployment), Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse acknowledged that the Prince Of Wales may not be able to cross the Atlantic in time to participate in planned drills alongside the US Navy and Royal Canadian Navy as well as the US Marine Corps.
“After the initial assessment, it’s likely that the fault will require repairs which may impact the ship’s program,” the official said.
Commenting on the “Emerging mechanical issue” which befell the warship just hours after it sailed for the military exercises on August 27, former First Sea Lord Admiral Lord West described the situation as “Very unfortunate” and an “embarrassment” to Britain.
West told the media that “you’d think when they were doing trials they might have spotted” that the propeller shaft had not been lubricated properly.
The HMS Prince of Wales became fully operational last year, requiring £3.3 million in repairs after a previous incident in 2020, which saw water wreak havoc on its electronics in the engine room.
The warship spent an average of 87 days at sea during its two-year existence.
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