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HMS Southampton

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason and for how long the crew of HMS Southampton have been without normal supplies of fresh water; what the consequences have been; and when the problem is expected to be rectified. (99075)

At no time has HMS Southampton been without fresh water.

On three separate occasions between 17 and 29 October the ship experienced difficulties with the distillation system that produces fresh water and restrictions were imposed to conserve stocks.

On 17 and 26 October 2006 the use of showers was stopped for a period of less than 12 hours each day. No other restrictions were imposed. On 28 October 2006 the use of fresh water for activities other than drinking, cooking and washing hands was restricted for a period of 14 hours.

The availability of fresh water for the ship’s galley, drinking supplies and personal hygiene remained unaffected throughout.

The problems were rectified by the ship’s company using on board resources.