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Grounds on Bank at




LONDON, Saturday

H.M.S. Nelson, flagship of the British., Home Fleet, grounded on a shingle " Sfiík when leaving Ports- mouth to join -other vessels of the Home Fleet for the spring cruise yes- terday morning, and was refloated at 6 o'clock in the evening, about two hours before high tide.

The refloating of the £7,500,001) battleship Nelson was accomplished after a series of novel manoeuvres. It is no secret that the Nelson is diffi- cult to handle in narrow waters. More- over, Portsmouth Harbour is a tight passage for big vessels, although the fairway is regularly dredged.

Five tugs arrived in response to signals, attached cables,' and pulled, but the battleship did not move. Then a flotilla of destroyers coming down the harbour were signalled to steam past the Nelson at high speed, in the hope that their wash would refloat the Nelson. ' The destroyers created great waves, imperilling smaller craft,

but there was no result.


Next the engines were put hard I?

astern and the whole of the ship's company, numbering 1358 jumped a\. words of command, but without result. More tugs arrived with a dredger, which began scooping sand and shingle. Massive 16-inch projectiles were unloaded into a lighter. Hun dreds of tons of oil fuel forward was pumped into the stern tanks in order to lighten the bows.

Admiral Sir Arthur Waistell, Com- mander-in-chief at Portsmouth, ar- rived in his barge, and work was con- tinued all day to lighten the ship.

At 5.45 the signal was given for the engines again to go astern. The fleet of tugs pulled, someone yelled, "She moves," and the Nelson was again afloat. Thousands of people watched the refloating and Portsmouth this evening was almost in carnival mood.

AMAZING 1 "The Daily Telegraph" says: "The news of the Nelson's grounding will be read with amazement by seataring men throughout the world, as there was no wind and no sea running. At one time when the bows of the battle- ship were high out of the water and the stern well down there may well have been fears of the day proving disastrous. The result of the official inquiry will be awaited with intense interest, for the entrance to Ports- mouth Harbour must be as familiar to responsible officers of the navy as the road down Whitehall is to thb Little Admiral himself on his pillar in Trafalgar Square."

"The Morning Post" says: "The Nelson must now be docked for ex- amination. The only dock of suffi- cient size at Portsmouth is occupied by the aircraft carrier Courageous. It is understood that the cost of tak- ing the Courageous out of the dock and docking the Nelson would be nearly £10,000. A Court of Inquiry will" be opened as speedily as pos-