The Irish warship LE Aoife damaged its bows when it hit a floating pontoon while coming alongside in Cobh

The patrol vessel LÉ Aoife damaged its bows above the waterline when it crashed into a pontoon while docking in the deep-water quay in Cobh, Ireland, on Saturday.

Irish Naval Service engineers are assessing the damage to the vessel, which has been moved the short distance to Haulbowline naval base, where repairs are being carried out.

A Naval Service spokeswoman said the accident had been caused by a mechanical problem, which led to the vessel propelling forwards when it should have gone backwards. She said the age of the vessel, which was launched in 1979 and is due to be decommissioned by the end of next year, may also have been a factor.

The pontoon, which is used by visiting cruiseliners, suffered only minor dents.

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