British Submarine HMS Astute Aground. Somebody’s getting fired!

Posted: October 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

According to this article in the Telegraph, Britain’s newest submarine, HMS Astute (S 119), ran aground off the coast of Scotland, and remains hung up:

It is understood that the boat, which is first in its class, ran aground by its stern in a manoeuvre that “went slightly wrong” after it had dropped some sailors ashore in tidal waters off the Isle of Skye.
As the tide rapidly ebbed it is thought the skipper of Astute, Commander Andy Coles, decided not to power it off the obstruction as it would risk damaging the hull that carries some of the most advanced acoustic tiles that make Astute virtually undetectable beneath the seas…
…No one was injured in the incident that happened earlier today. It came the morning after Trafalgar Day, where sailors celebrated the 205th anniversary of Nelson’s victory.
“Astute ran aground by her very stern earlier this morning as she was transferring people ashore,” a Navy spokesman said. “There’s no nuclear issue or no environmental issue that we are aware of and no one has been hurt.”
The submarine, which carries a crew of 98, will now wait until later today for tug boats to pull her off when the tide comes in.

Hopefully all works out well for the boat and crew. More information, including a chart of the grounding area, is in this BBC report. I am amused by the British press calling Astute, commissioned August 27th of this year, the “world’s most advanced nuclear submarine”. Newest submarine class to be launched, yes, but considering she was ordered in 1997, I think I’ll take the Virginia-class boats as being more advanced, and the Seawolf-class as being immeasurably better.

Bell-ringer 1015 22 October: Here’s a video of Astute aground:

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