A ROYAL Navy ship had to return to a naval base as a “precautionary measure” after an issue with the vessel’s fresh water systems, it has been reported.

At least one sailor on HMS Portland had to be taken to hospital following problems with water supplies on the vessel, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The ship returned to Portsmouth and the issue is being investigated.

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A Royal Navy spokesperson said: “We can confirm that HMS Portland has returned to HMNB Portsmouth as a precautionary measure, following an issue with one of the ship’s fresh water systems.

“The health and safety of our personnel is of the utmost importance and we are taking a number of measures to safeguard the ship’s company whilst the issue is investigated.

“A small number of personnel were taken to hospital as a precaution and HMS Richmond has been stood up to cover any contingencies.”

The Telegraph reported a Navy source as stating the wrong chemicals were put into the water system but that the mistake had been quickly flagged by the person involved.

Last month HMS Portland, a Type 23 frigate, was involved in monitoring a Russian-guided missile frigate and accompanying tanker as they sailed in international waters near the UK.

The vessel underwent a major refit in 2021 and is adept at surface warfare and hunting submarines, the Royal Navy has previously said.

It spent much of last year patrolling waters close to the UK, with visits to Norway and Sweden, and working with Nato allies on the alliance’s submarine hunting exercise, Dynamic Mongoose, in the North Atlantic.