The first female commander of a major Royal Navy warship is understood to have left her vessel after allegations of an affair with one of her officers. Cdr Sarah West, 42, was coming to the end of a seven-month deployment in the Atlantic on board the Type 23 frigate HMS Portland.
During her seven month deployment HMS Portland called in South Africa, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, among other places.
According to BBC, the Ministry of Defense would not confirm the claims but said she was currently on annual leave. It said it was aware of a complaint of a breach of the code of social conduct on board the ship.
When she took up her post in May 2012, Cdr West said it was definitely the highlight of my 16 years in the Royal Navy so far.
Cdr West had been on board HMS Portland since January on a deployment. The ship is currently in the Caribbean and is due to return to its base in Plymouth shortly. It is not clear when Cdr West left the frigate.
The UK MoD has confirmed she is now on annual leave and her second-in-command is in charge of the ship.
It said it was aware of an allegation of a breach of the code of social conduct on board the ship, which it was treating seriously.
Anyone who is found to fall short of the Royal Navy's high standards can expect to face appropriate action, a spokesperson said.
The code governs personal relationships, which are not permitted if they compromise operational effectiveness.
There is no confirmation that Cdr West has had a relationship with a fellow officer. But if she is found to have breached the Royal Navy code, she could be removed from her command