British Navy submarine in ‘near-miss’ with ferry

A British nuclear-powered submarine narrowly avoided crashing into a passenger ferry between Northern Ireland and Scotland, with disaster averted only because an officer spotted its periscope, a report revealed on Thursday.

The government’s Marine Accident Investigations Branch called for an independent review into the incident on November 6, 2018, saying it was the third such near-miss involving a Royal Navy submarine in four years.

The Stena Superfast VII ferry, carrying 215 passengers and 67 crew, was travelling between Belfast and Cairnryan on the west coast of Scotland when a lookout spotted the submarine’s periscope close by. “The officer of the watch then took immediate and effective action, turning the ferry to avoid a genuine risk of collision with a submerged submarine,” said the chief inspector of marine accidents, Andrew Moll.

The submarine, from the Faslane naval base west of Glasgow, was conducting pre-deployment safety training at the time, and detected and tracked the ferry including with sonar data.

“Although there was no collision, this was the third accident or incident between a dived Royal Navy submarine and a surface vessel in four years, which is a matter of significant concern,” Mr. Moll said in a statement.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 3:01:40 AM |

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