'A small fire in a machinery space' occurred on HMS Dragon on Monday (Picture: Royal Navy).
An onboard fire delayed HMS Dragon's departure for an operational deployment to the Gulf on Monday, Portsmouth Naval Base has confirmed.
The Type 45 destroyer left Portsmouth with a delay of more than seven hours to work alongside coalition and regional partners.
A spokesperson for Portsmouth Naval Base has confirmed the warship ‘incurred a small fire in a machinery space while alongside in HM Naval Base Portsmouth on Monday morning'.
The vessel was due to depart at 11am, but only left Portsmouth at 6.30pm.
In a tweet from their official account, the crew first apologised for the issues at 11.44am:
"For those waiting, sorry for the delay. Grab a coffee or tea, and we’ll be with you soon..."
At 1.33pm, they tweeted again, adding: "So sorry to all those waiting to wave us off but we are delayed until later today.
"Unfortunately we had a small issue that is best resolved alongside rather than after sailing.
"Very much hoping to be away this evening, but we’ll keep you informed."
According to the spokesperson, no personnel were injured in the blaze and the fire was ‘rapidly extinguished’ by members of HMS Dragon’s crew.
Portsmouth Naval Base has said the incident will now be subject to a ‘full and thorough investigation’ and that it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.
The ship is now on its way to the Gulf, where she will provide regional maritime security, including counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling activities.
In preparation for the deployment, the crew has undergone extensive training, culminating in a 7-week Operational Sea Training package.