Sunday, 7 November 2010

Ruling the Waves?

“The incident involving HMS Astute was clearly not a one-off, and the MoD must explain why previous groundings have not been made public”, reports the Sunday Herald.

Incidents took place off the coast of Northern Ireland, in the north Norwegian Sea, in the Arctic, in the Red Sea, in the Atlantic, and off Australia. In all, Britain’s nuclear submarines have run aground 11 times, collided with two other boats and an iceberg, and snagged the nets of two fishing vessels.  The worst incident was on November 22, 1990, when HMS Trenchant snagged the net of the Antares fishing vessel in Bute Sound, north of Arran. The boat sank with the loss of four lives, and an official inquiry blamed mistakes by submarine commanders.

The  list published by the Herald  reveals a previously unreported accident in April 2009 somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean. “HMS Torbay grounded in soft sand and mud to avoid a merchant vessel which was sailing erratically,” an MoD spokeswoman told the Sunday Herald. The craft had not been damaged, she said. “The incident was investigated and no further action was taken.

An independent expert on nuclear submarine safety, John Large,  called on the Royal Navy to review its navigational training. 


Sackerson said...

From The Navy Lark (passim):


"Land ahoy!"

Caronte said...

Waving the rules, rather.

Odin's Raven said...

Perhaps they've retired the real sailors as an economy measure, and the equality and diversity jobsworths and cut rate Somali pirates aren't quite up to the job.
Soon it may dawn upon the MOD that these expensive and embarassing crashes could be avoided by simply not going to sea. Gilbert and Sullivan's advice is still very relevant - 'stick close to your desk and never go to sea, and you all may be rulers of the Queen's navy!'

hatfield girl said...

I was taken by HMS Torbay which,
' avoid a merchant vessel which was sailing erratically,' was grounded on a sandbank in the Mediterranean.

You can hear them, can't you,

"It wasn't our fault, they were driving on the wrong side of the sea."

Odin's Raven said...

It seems that the Australian navy has a similar problem. See

Odin's Raven said...

It seems they still can't navigate that submarine properly.
Would Gilbert and Sullivan have credited it? Maybe they should all just stick close to their desks and never go to sea!

Odin's Raven said...

The disease is further advanced in other navies. Here's a story that South Africa's submarine has been out of action for the last three years, because someone blew a fuse!

It looks as if 'multicultural enrichment' is going to achieve disarmament of anything more complicated than an AK47!