Trouble strikes on Caribbean tour as Prince Harry's ship breaks down
Prince Harry's plans for his Caribbean tour went awry today after the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship that is his base for the trip broke down and could not leave port.
The RFA Wave Knight was scheduled to embark from St Vincent on Saturday night, but after developing what was described as a "technical fault" it remained moored in port while engineers worked round the clock to try to fix it.
By midday local time the ship was still not fixed, forcing the royal party into a change of plan.
Instead of setting sail for Grenada, the Prince's next stop, and pausing halfway to have a picnic lunch on a desert island, as had been planned, the Prince was taken to a small island off the coast of St Vincent in Wave Knight's tender to have lunch.
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If the problem persists, Prince Harry will have to change plans and fly to Grenada instead, almost certainly in a chartered aircraft, and book into hotels rather than sleeping on the ship.
The Prince and his entourage had been due to spend Sunday and Monday night aboard the tanker before it returned to duties in the Caribbean.
A spokesman for Kensington Palace said: "Today, day eight of the tour, was a designated travel day. The journey from St Vincent and the Grenadines to Grenada was due to take six hours and the tour party planned to stop along the way for lunch.
"Due to a technical problem, RFA Wave Knight was unable to leave St Vincent as planned. Prince Harry and the tour party remains in the country and went to a nearby island for a private afternoon ahead of week two.
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"Contingency plans are in place and there is no current expectation that the second half of the tour will be impacted by the technical problem with Wave Knight. We are looking forward to meeting the people of Grenada tomorrow."
An Royal Navy spokesperson said: “RFA Wave Knight experienced a minor technical issue. This has not caused delay to the royal tour, or affected the operational commitments of the ship.”