The crash of nuclear powered attack submarine HMS Ambush off Gibraltar is likely to result in a court martial, it has been reported.

The commanding officer of HMS Ambush, Commander Alan Daveney, will be under investigation as part of an inquiry into why the boat collided with a merchant vessel on Wednesday.

According to a press release at the time:

At approximately 1330 local time today, HMS AMBUSH, an Astute-class submarine, while submerged and conducting a training exercise was involved in a glancing collision with a merchant vessel off the coast of Gibraltar. We are in contact with the merchant vessel and initial indications are that it has not sustained damage.

The submarine suffered some external damage but there is absolutely no damage to her nuclear plant and no member of the ship’s company was injured in the incident. An immediate investigation is being conducted.

The submarine will be entering Gibraltar later this evening for further checks. There are no safety concerns associated with HMS AMBUSH being alongside.

HMS Ambush is an Astute class nuclear fleet submarine, the second boat of her class. Ambush is the third vessel, and the second submarine, to bear the name in Royal Naval service. She was ordered in 1997, laid down in 2003 and commissioned in 2013.

In April 2015, Ambush participated in Exercise Joint Warrior, the largest military exercise held in Europe, alongside 55 other naval ships of NATO navies.

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Thad Birchall

but was Ambush in British water UK Defence Journal

Jason Ruddick

Standard procedure after a incident like this

Ryan Hayes

is it? seems harsh

Jason Ruddick

Not really , any accident in the military has to be investigated this is very serious , the commanding officer of HMS Nottingham was Court Marshalled after hitting a chartered pinnacle of the coast of Australia , just standard procedure

Nick Warde

He’s ultimately responsible for the vessel even if he was asleep in his rack at the time. He only delegates control never responsibility. Also doest seem harsh, he’s stoofed his submarine into a merchant vessel. Very little excuse for that unless loss of control due to mechanical or electric failure

Chris Power

Nottingham came within minutes of sinking though

Alan Radisic

Just like armed police. If they shoot someone…. they can be suspended pending investigation.

Ray Lovie

Nav might get to join him ….

Ryan Treadwell


Joe Riley

Lonely at the top

Jon Fouler

Hope he goes to collie like me

Seb Haggart

Bet that was fun. ?

David Marshall Grice

That moment when you had whoopsy daisies but one just eclipsed them all and you’re glad you’re not a submarine commander ?

Ian Stone Brown

Good luck Commander

Dan Brown

The Spanish merchant vessel MORE THAN LIKELY rammed the submarine on purpose. HMS Ambush should have launched a decoy, and immediately headed to dock, but then turn around and torpedo the merchant vessel for their act of agressive and carelessness. And if anyone has anything to say? Well, they are probably in no position to argue with a nuclear submarine, one which is presumably carrying nukes.

John Brown

Are you the Dan Brown that writes fiction ? Thank God you’re not in charge of any warship as you would personally start a war !

Dan Brown

Pah it’s only Spain, what are they gonna do to get back at us? They could show us how to play football for a start.

Dan Brown

Satire aside, I’m surprised the Navy let them just casually get away with damaging their sub. Even if they didn’t torpedo the boat, they should have boarded it and held the crew. Give them a good fright and a lesson in what radar is and how it works. And most importantly, determine wether it was deliberate.

Ian Murray

Hms ambush doesn’t and will never carry “nukes”

Dan Brown

Fair enough, well I didn’t know lol

Jason Cole

Ambush is an Astute class fleet submarine… it is nuclear powered, meaning it has a nuclear reactor to supply electricity for the systems and electric motors that propel the vessel, however it is not nuclear armed and has no capability to be armed with nukes… the only UK subs that can do that are the Vanguard class, SLBN carrier (submarine launched ballistic missile) these are the Trident carrying subs, the UK has a total of 4 of the class each capable of holding 16 trident missiles with nuclear warheads… hope this clears up

Dan Brown

Thanks 🙂

Steven K

Sads news? Were was the escorting coastal guard? And warning shots?

Alan Radisic


Seb Haggart

Experts everywhere. This is standard procedure. Plus submarines use other vessels to hide. It’s surprising how many times this has probably happened in the past and been hushed up. They might be state of the art but humans with egos are still in control. Getting as close as you can is part of that ego. It’s all speculation at present. A court martial would happen anyway. The outcome could be very different depending the findings.

Ian Wallace

You are right Seb in one respect that this has happened before. However, no court martial have ever resulted. In most cases the captain has been removed without punishment or repremand. Near misses were very rarely reported properly and a simple ships (internal) investigation would surfice with blame apportioned to a junior or brush under the carpet. I suspect things don’t change but who knows with the coverage of this once dent and embarrassment via social media.

Brian Antrobus

Go figure!!! He bent the boat!!

Peter Henson

Standard procedure. He will simply be given a desk job.

Gene H. Cramer

Well at least he did not run his sub in a under water sea mount like the captain did on the U.S. sub a few year’s back !!

Ricky Strange

Or take out a fishing vessel on a emergency surface.

Chad K Gray

You damage a multi billion dollar boat, regardless of whether or not you are at the helm, you will be stripped of your command and your navy career is finished.

Philip Langley

not necessarily. Back in the 70s David Tall took command of HMS Opossum. Wonderful guy who had been court martialled before

Shaw Durman

desk job for the rest of his Career it is :

Dave Cullen

No sh!t Sherlock!!! Really???

Tamzid Karim

Ahmad Shoaib Saud Akmal Goraya

Mark Cotton

HMS Rambush. Got to feel for the Skipper there especially after the successful vote last week.

Andrew 'Taz' Tarrant

After any such incident there is a Board of Inquiry which is not a court martial. A Board of Inquiry cannot punish anyone but only make recommendations. Any officer or rating will only face a court martial if there is a case of negligence to answer.

Stephen Carr

Can’t undestand how a new multi billion pound boat with all the latest sensor technology was unable to avoid a surface vessel. Isn’t that what they are supposed to do?

Scott Wilson

No surprise I was expecting a promotion to a desk job

Andrew Beckett

And the OOW no doubt.

Ricky Strange

It has been seen that this will not affect his career adversely.Its happened to a lot,take for example Admiral Lord West lost his Ship down South.


:p Remembering the reaction on this post- Now Do u have any excuses like “Trained by Argies” “going to blame it on Argentine naval advisers” or anything other than these? #shame #karma_is_a_bi**h

Aidan Handyside

“Shoot one to encourage the others.” Voltaire on the 18th C execution by firing squad of British Admiral Byng on the quarter deck of his flagship.

Bob Given

She was on a training EX, maybe she was practising the old sneaking into or out of the Med under an unsuspecting ship trick..(as was done and likely still is to this day, by many Navies since submarines sailed any great distance)..As I understand the waters there are very tricky…. Either reason could account for this incident….Myself, I wish the CO luck, shame to have all the time and treasure training the man go to sailing a desk…IMHO Ready Aye Ready…

Charlie Stuart

Keeran Stephenson

Keeran Stephenson

Yeah I’ve seen it