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HMS Prince of Wales breaks down after sailing from Portsmouth

HMS Prince of Wales is pictured departing from Portsmouth on 27 August for its ‘Westlant 22' deployment. The 65,000-tonne warship broke down shortly afterwards and is now anchored off the south coast while a mechanical fault with the starboard propeller shaft is being investigated. (Royal Navy/Crown Copyright)

The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier is being inspected for damage after breaking down shortly after departing from Portsmouth, Hampshire, for a three-month mission to the United States.

HMS Prince of Wales set sail from its home port in Portsmouth on 27 August for its ‘Westlant 22' deployment, but broke down off the south coast the following day after suffering a technical fault.

In a video released on 29 August, Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse, director of Force Generation, confirmed that a mechanical fault was discovered with the starboard propeller shaft shortly after Prince of Wales set sail. The carrier is at anchor in the South Coast Exercise Area near the Isle of Wight while the RN carries out investigations.

“I've been to the ship today myself to see what the issue is and how we in the Royal Navy can work together to make sure that the ship can successfully return to its taskings,” Rear Adm Moorhouse said.

“After an initial assessment, it's likely that the fault will require repairs that may impact the ship's programme. The ship is now moving to a more sheltered anchorage for further inspection and then we'll be able to provide further comment on the nature of the issue and the impact to its current schedule.

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