Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The HMS Queen Elizabeth leak

The BBC report that:
'According to the Sun newspaper, HMS Queen Elizabeth has been taking on up to 200 litres of sea water every hour because of the fault.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said the problem was "highly embarrassing" for the Royal Navy and just one of a number of snags still to be rectified.'

200 litres an hour, is that a lot? I've just turned on my kitchen tap, it filled a 1 litre jug in just under 10 seconds. That's a rate of 360 litres per hour, almost double the rate of the leak into the HMS Queen Elizabeth. This doesn't seem a lot of water.

I had a look on Amazon UK for bilge pumps, this is a link to a 12V bilge pump that claims to clear 1100 Gallons per hour (that's approximately 5,000 litres per hour). This bilge pump costs £13.49 with free delivery and is in stock. So a £13.49 bilge pump would clear the leak operating at 7.2% capacity. This leak really doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

Also surely the whole point of sea trials is to find issues and fix them. This leak seems like a small issue that has been identified and will be fixed but in the meantime will hardly affect the ship's ability to operate.

So did nobody at the BBC do the maths to see whether this was a serious problem, or did they just jump to report something that they hoped would embarrass the Conservative government and denigrate the Country?


English Pensioner said...

This is typical of many of the so-called facts and statistics that we are presented with these days, nobody thinks about what they actually mean. The situation here is far worse now that we use litres instead of gallons!

Statistics are a frequently a good way of disguising the facts, so the aim is to try and produce a big number which is clearly worse than a small one. We were forecast to have 5-10 mm of snow here, so all the schools were closed. In my younger days, people would have laughed if one suggested that half an inch of snow would bring everything to a halt! But that's what happens when people don't think about what they are told.

And that's without getting on to the subject of percentages and percentages of percentages!

PS I suspect that the cost of fixing the leak will be considerably more that £13.49 for a bilge pump!

rapscallion said...

This leak is through the stern glands (where the prop shafts go through).
It shouldn't be leaking this much, even 200 litres a month is too much.

The actions of Al Beeb do not suprise me however - actually, it's what I expect from them.