A team of investigators from Britain's Royal Navy is today expected to start interviewing the crew of the destroyer HMS Nottingham, which gouged a hole in its hull after hitting a rock off Australia's east coast a week ago. The five investigators arrived on Lord Howe Island, 800km northeast of Sydney, at the weekend and will gather evidence for an official board of inquiry into the accident, which at one point threatened to sink the 3,500-tonne warship. Repair work on the ship's hull is expected to continue for at least another week after it was badly damaged during the collision with the half-submerged Wolfe Rock in high seas on the night of July 7. Five compartments, as well as sleeping quarters and the forward engine room, were flooded as a result of the grounding, which happened as the ship was manoeuvring to allow a helicopter to be put back in its hangar. Royal Navy spokesman Lieutenant-Commander Mike Souter said the A$800 million (HK$3.5 billion), state-of-the-art Type 42 destroyer would eventually be towed to a port somewhere on Australia's east coast. 'It's logical that the ship will be towed to somewhere that is not too far away and Sydney is certainly one of the ports that will be under investigation,' Commander Souter said. 'It then comes down to commercial contracts and our contracts people are in negotiation with a number of ports.' He said investigators would determine whether any crew member should face a court martial. 'As a result of an accident of this nature somebody may be - and I do stress may be - court-martialled. Who that is and what the terms of the court martial are will be decided at a later date.' The ship's captain, Commander Richard Farrington, 41, and his 249 crew have stabilised the ship and pumped out up to 2.3 metres of water from the flooded compartments, with the help of Australian navy divers and New Zealand navy support ships. A seven-man salvage team sent from Britain to assess the damage has yet to decide on the best way to repair the vessel. On Saturday the Australian newspaper reported that the destroyer may face the ultimate indignity - being towed to the Australian mainland backwards.