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Female Navy commander investigated over 'ship affair'

The first female commander of a major Royal Navy warship has left her vessel following an allegation she had an affair with a shipmate.

Commander Sarah West, 42, took charge of Type 23 frigate HMS Portland in May 2012 but is understood to have left the ship amid a Navy investigation.

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Cdr West made history with warship commander role

Commander Sarah West was a headline appointment when she became the first female commander of a frontline warship in the 500-year history of the Royal Navy.

She described taking on the role as the greatest achievement of her career, adding: "I'm looking forward to taking HMS Portland on operations with a professional and focused team."

The stealth-designed HMS Portland, which is in the latter stages of a seven-month deployment across four continents, holds a crew of 185 people. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Earlier this year she said her work commitments made it difficult to have a relationship.

She told the Daily Mirror: "Years at sea probably explains why I'm single. But every person in the military makes sacrifices."

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