Watch: Moment Two Warships Collide, Tearing Hole in Side of Minesweeper Protecting Gulf

Two British minesweepers collided while alongside at Bahrain on Thursday, video footage and the Ministry of Defence confirms, with level of damage observed suggesting ships may be out of action for some time.

Two of the three Royal Navy minesweepers assigned to the Gulf appear out of service, quite possibly for a considerable period of time, after a dramatic collision saw HMS Chiddingfold power into the flank of HMS Bangor while she lay alongside at Bahrain. While the cause of the collision has not yet been revealed, video footage obtained of the incident by the MilitaryBanter-Fill Your Boots UK Twitter account shows Chiddingfold appearing to accelerate as she backed towards Bangor, at least suggesting mechanical failure rather than operator error may have been to blame.

Breitbart News understands HMS Chiddingfold was attempting to get underway but did not respond to helm commands as expected, causing it to motor back towards land. UK Defence Journal cites a Royal Navy spokesman who acknowledged the collision had taken place. THey are reported to have said: “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.”

An investigation is forthcoming.

An image of the aftermath published by the Fill Your Boots group shows the remains of the starboard side of HMS Bangor, a large hole torn through the hull by the stern of HMS Chiddingfold.

Unlike conventional warships, minesweepers are designed to use as little ferrous metal as possible to reduce their magnetic signature, an essential quality when detecting and dealing with sea mines. Today minesweepers are made from glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), but previous generations were built from aluminium and mahogany wood, again to use as little magnetic material as possible in construction.

The GRP construction is comparatively fragile, however, and difficult to repair. This was proven in 2021 when HMS Chiddingfold — again in Bahrain — collided with HMS Penzance. The damage was estimated to run to £100,000 and took the ship out of service for three months. Britain has just given two other minesweepers away to Ukraine.

The Royal Navy warships are based in Bahrain as part of a longstanding British commitment to helping keep the Gulf open for trade, including the crucial shipping of crude oil, by keeping the sea lanes patrolled and clear of mines. As the Royal Navy puts it, this is important to: “demonstrate our continued commitment to lasting peace in this troubled region, and to safeguard the flow of international trade.”

As well as the two minehunters involved in this week’s collision there is a third minesweeper HMS Middleton, frigate HMS Lancaster, and a Royal Fleet Auxilliary support ship RFA Cardigan Bay.

The deployment is not directly part of the newly launched, U.S.-led Operation Prosperity Guardian, but runs parallel to it.


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