• February 14, 2011

The Royal Navy has responded to a query from the Celtic League about an incident in December 2010 when a Royal Navy nuclear submarine was grounded off Skye.

Navy Command say the vessel was complying with International Maritime Organisation Resolutions on safety and also with a domestic code on safe submarine operations in coastal waters introduced following the MFV Antares tragedy in which four fishermen died following an incident with RN nuclear submarine, HMS Trenchant.

See MAIB report on Antares tragedy here:


There is still no explanation about just how such a large warship with state of the art navigation equipment came to be operating in shallow water off a Skye beach.

“Thank you for your letter dated 24 December 2010, addressed to the Commander Operations and Rear Admiral Submarines at Northwood. Your correspondence has been passed to this Headquarters: please accept this reply on the Admiral’s behalf.

In response to your first query, I can confirm that HMS ASTUTE did indeed comply with the provisions of International Maritime Organisation Resolution A709(17) during the period preceding the incident off the Isle of Skye in October 2010.

On your second question, you may be aware that, since the tragic incident involving the MFV ANTARES, the Royal Navy has, in consultation with local fishing organisations, run an information service to advise of dived submarine operations in the Permanent Exercise Areas around the Scottish coast. I can confirm that this system was used during the entirety of HMS ASTUTE’s dived sea trials activity.

I hope this information is helpful in addressing your queries.”

Related link on Celtic News here:


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


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