HMS Prince of Wales sailor launches £100k claim against MOD
for injury

HMS Prince of Wales sailor launches £100k claim against MOD for injury

Papers lodged at the High Court in London say Royal Navy engineer Matthew Walker suffered injuries to his right hand and arm when high-pressure nitrogen gas and shrapnel discharged as he worked on a fire protection system.

They say that the 37-year-old was airlifted to Salisbury District Hospital after his condition deteriorated, and underwent surgery to remove foreign bodies from a wound at the base of his thumb.

However, surgeons are said to have been unable to remove all of the debris from his hand and arm, and this remains embedded in his body.

Attempts to remove the shrapnel in him are likely to cause more harm to his hand and arm, according the papers say.

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales.Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales. (Image: PA)

Now Mr Walker  is claiming compensation from the MoD after the accident on May 18 2021.

He was a leading hand (engineer) at the Portsmouth Naval Base and was trying to rectify leaks which had been found in the rapid reaction spray system on board HMS Prince of Wales.

Once he had fixed the leaks, he increased the pressure to 4000 PSI, discovered another leak, and tried to turn off the supply with an isolation valve, but this opened an unblanked port which released high-pressure nitrogen directly into his right hand, according to the claim.

Mr Walker accuses the MOD of breach of contract and negligence, and says it failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment, imposed untoward pressure on works aboard ship to complete the required maintenance within a specified timeframe, exposed him to a dangerous hazard, and exposed him to an unnecessary and foreseeable risk.

Two hours after the accident, his symptoms had become so serious that he was airlifted to Salisbury District Hospital, where doctors found nitrogen pockets under his skin, and shrapnel and the papers say he continues to suffer from aches and pains.

Mr Walker, who is still serving in the Royal Navy, says his hand is scarred, and his ability to take part in leisure activities and hobbies he had enjoyed has been restricted by his injuries.

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