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    Royal Navy sailors have been rushed to hospital after the ship's water was reported to have been "contaminated".

    Sailors aboard the HMS Portland had been taken to hospital after drinking contaminated water on the ship, with a number of those ingesting the water taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital.

    It comes as the ship diverted to Portsmouth Naval Base, with a defence source claiming that the contamination was "quite serious".

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    The source further claimed that a "number of personnel" had been taken to hospital following the reports of contaminated water.

    The source said: "The situation is quite serious. The ship has done everything they should do. They found out about it this morning and came alongside in Portsmouth.

    "They have got scientists on board investigating. The water has been contaminated by something. A number of personnel have been taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital for treatment."

    HMS Portland is notable for being involved in the encounter between British navy personnel and Russian submarines in June of last year.

    Daily Star previously reported the encounter in the North Sea, which saw HMS Portland head up a stand-off with two Russian submarines.

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    Reports at the time noted the submarine hunting ship had come across two Russian subs, the cruise missile Severodvinsk and the Akula-class attack submarine Vepr.

    HMS Portland's Commanding Officer, Commander Tim Leeder, said at the time: "The warfighting capability that HMS Portland brings to bear for NATO operations is formidable – especially when tasked with hunting submarines in the North Atlantic.

    "My specialist team of submarine hunters relish the formidable challenge of tracking down silent hunters – and the chance to learn and share tactics with like-minded allies.

    "It is testament to my sailors’ dedication and professionalism, alongside that of our allies, that we are able to conduct this strategically crucial role."

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