SAFETY AT SEA: Royal Navy silent on nuclear submarine crashes

By Rob Edwards in The Ferret

The Royal Navy has refused to say whether anyone was disciplined following an incident in which a nuclear submarine nearly crashed into a ferry carrying 282 people off the Scottish coast.

The navy also won’t say whether it carried out an independent review to reduce the risks of future collisions. This was recommended by government investigators concerned about the near-miss and two other nuclear submarine crashes.

Campaigners accuse the navy of using the excuse of national security “to cover up dangerous incompetence”. The Scottish National Party (SNP) condemns the secrecy as “absolutely untenable”.


The navy says it has tightened its procedures, insisting that “appropriate action” was taken. But it would be “inappropriate” to comment on individual cases, it adds.

On 6 November 2018 a naval submarine based at Faslane near Helensburgh came within 50 to 100 metres of a Stena Superfast ferry crossing from Belfast to Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway. The ferry was carrying 215 passengers and 67 crew.

 A Stena Superfast ferry crossing from Belfast to Cairnryan. Pictures by Bill Heaney

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