NO SOONER had Parliament approved the renewal and upgrading of the Trident defence system, than one of Britain’s newest nuclear submarines, the ironically named HMS Ambush was involved in a collision with a merchant ship and was forced to return to Gibraltar.
According to the Royal Navy, the submarine which was submerged and involved in a training exercise suffered only minor damage from what was described as a ‘glancing blow’ although its conning tower appeared to have suffered quite badly.
The incident occurred in the early afternoon of July 20 and it has been stressed that no damage has been done to the nuclear reactor on board, no one was injured and there is no danger from the submarine docking in Gibraltar.
Considering the cost of the submarine and the enormous amount of equipment on board, one would have thought that at least one of the specialist crew might have spotted the merchant ship and alerted the Captain to take avoiding action. No doubt this will be a major part of the formal investigation which must follow the incident.