A Royal Navy nuclear submarine was involved in what has been called a ‘close quarters incident’ with a ferry in the Irish Sea.

An investigation has been launched into the as of this week unreported incident, which occurred in the Irish Sea on November the 6th.

The incident involved the MS Stena Superfast VII, a ferry owned by Stena Line and operated on their service between Belfast and Cairnryan. The vessel is capable of transporting 1,200 passengers and 661 cars.

The Royal Navy has not confirmed which of its submarines was involved.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said in a release:

“In November, we were notified of a close-quarters incident between the ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) ferry Stena Superfast VII and a submarine operating at periscope depth.

We have carried out a preliminary assessment of the evidence in this case and the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has decided to open a safety investigation. The investigation is being conducted with the full co-operation of the Royal Navy.

A report will be published when our investigation has concluded.”

A Royal Navy spokesman said:

“We can confirm the sighting of a Royal Navy submarine between Belfast and Stranraer on 6 November 2018. We are co-operating with the MAIB investigation.”

According to a spokesman for Stena:

“Stena Line can confirm that on Tuesday 6 November 2018, Stena Superfast VII and a submerged submarine came into close proximity during a scheduled crossing between Cairnryan and Belfast. At no stage were the vessel, passengers or crew in any danger. The incident is now under investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and we will of course co-operate fully in this.”


  1. “The vessel is capable of transporting 626 passengers and 661 cars.” That’s 35 more cars than people. Interesting

  2. It all sounds a bit like the Bond film The Spy who Loved me, did the bow of the ferry have doors that opened up to swallow HMS Lost at sea? Any Men with Steel teeth or white cats seen in the vicinity?

    I expect you to reply Mr Bond….

  3. These kind of incidents seem to be happening with alarming frequency. Has training been cut? What’s causing all these near misses?

  4. Complacency. Too much reliance on the automation and not enough paying attention with the noggin… Probably a common thread in all these collisions / near collisions…


  5. The ferrys are causing it. There are more of them, they are faster, larger, quieter than ever before. They rush about totally untrained in submarine awareness and navigation needs.
    Besides Ireland maybe always thought the world owed it a living.


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