Frigate grounded in fjord

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The Independent Online

A British frigate ran aground today in a fjord waters off Oslo in Norway.

A British frigate ran aground today in a fjord waters off Oslo in Norway.

HMS Grafton hit rocks as it headed through a narrow fjord after leaving the Norwegian capital where its crew had enjoyed a weekend break.

There were no casualties amongst the 175 seamen, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said.

But the warship may have to be towed into port for repairs, the spokesman added.

The 3,500 ton warship had travelled 19 miles from the capital city and was close to the town of Droebak when the accident happened.

HMS Grafton is attached to Nato's Standing Naval Forces Atlantic group and was visiting Oslo with other vessels from the unit.

An MOD spokesman said an investigation would be held into how the 430ft long warship hit the rocks.

He added: "Navy divers have gone down to conduct an initial investigation. Depending on what they find a decision will be taken whether to take her back into Oslo."

Reports from Droebak police say the warship's bow has been raised half a metre but it is not obstructing other vessels which use the fjord.

HMS Grafton is a type 23 Duke Class frigate, the mainstay of Britain's modern surface fleet, which entered service in 1997.

The warship's commanding officer is Commander Bob Sanguinetti and it is affiliated to Ipswich in Suffolk.

Fitted with a wide suite of weapons to enhance her capability, the vessel is capable of near silent running and has a stealth design which significantly reduces its radar signature.

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