Royal Navy warship returns to port due to Covid outbreak

Coronavirus outbreak on submarine-hunting Royal Navy warship with 184 crew aboard forces it to return to port over Christmas

  • HMS Northumberland, a Type 23 Frigate, was due to patrol UK waters this week
  • The vessel, which has a crew of 185, was forced to return to Devonport 
  • Several members of crew have reported Covid-19 symptoms while at sea 
  • The Royal Navy insists it is  will fulfil all operational tasks over Christmas 

The crew of a Royal Navy warship have been forced to return to shore and isolate over Christmas after an outbreak of coronavirus on board.

HMS Northumberland, which is designed to hunt for submarines, had been on call to protect UK waters over the festive period.

The Type 23 frigate was forced to return to Devonport Naval Base, near Plymouth, on Wednesday.

HMS Northumberland, pictured in November shadowing the Russian destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov as it sailed north west of the Outer Hebrides. The Type 23 Frigage has been forced to return to Devonport after several crew members reported having Covid-type symptoms

The Royal Navy insisted they will be able to fulfil their commitments over the festive period despite the temporary loss of HMS Northumberland

A Royal Navy spokeswoman said: ‘Following a number of suspected Covid cases onboard HMS Northumberland, the crew are now following health guidelines and protocols to isolate.

‘The Royal Navy continues to meet all operational tasks over Christmas, as it has done throughout this pandemic.’

 The vessel has a crew of 184 personnel and has a range of 7,500 nautical miles. 

She has been upgraded several times since her launch in the early 1990s, with improvements to her weapons systems, propulsion systems and sensors. 

Last month, HMS Northumberland had been involved monitoring several Russian warships as they made their way along the edge of UK territorial waters in the North Sea.  

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