Captain Steve Moorhouse of the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier has admitted to the ship suffering weekly floods, which he claimed are “inevitable”.
“This is the sixth ship I have been the captain of, it’s been a huge privilege for me in the Royal Navy, and I reckon the average is a flood a week in every ship I have been captain of,” he told reporters on Friday as the Queen Elizabeth set sail for the US from Portsmouth naval base to take part in joint military exercises.
Moorhouse said that even though the Queen Elizabeth’s design is “absolutely world class”, it’s unavoidable that “seals and valves can fail if you haven’t run systems for years”.
“Floods are part of the business, the really reassuring thing is that my sailors responded exactly as you would want them to, so all done and dusted, we are ready to sail,” he added.
Moorhouse spoke after the warship, which cost £3.1bn ($3.8 billion), was rerouted back to Portsmouth as a precaution following the discovery of a water leak last month.
A UK Defence Ministry spokesperson described the leak as a “minor issue with an internal system” which is being investigated.
Earlier, the Queen Elizabeth faced a spate of problems, including a shaft seal leak which reportedly caused seawater to flood the ship and an accidental trigger of the vessel’s sprinkler system whilst in a hangar.
Other troubles plaguing the Queen Elizabeth were revealed in late May, when the ship’s former captain Nick Cooke-Priest was sacked after claims that he misused the vessel’s Ford Galaxy car.
The 71,650-tonne carrier is the biggest warship ever to be built in Britain, and has been undergoing sea trials since setting sail from Scotland's Rosyth dockyard in June 2017.
The UK government hopes the HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship, the HMS Prince of Wales will serve purposes ranging from the provision humanitarian relief to high-end war-fighting.