In an exclusive report for The Sun by Jerome Starkey, it has been revealed that a major disaster was narrowly averted involving a Royal Navy nuclear submarine.
This Vanguard class submarine, part of the fleet that carries the UK’s Trident nuclear missiles, suffered a critical malfunction while preparing for patrol over a year ago.
The heart of the incident lay in the failure of the main depth gauge during the submarine’s dive. This malfunction misleadingly indicated that the vessel was at a safer, shallower depth, whilst in reality, it continued to descend.
The seriousness of this situation was underscored by the fact that the submarine was nearing its “crush depth.” This term refers to a depth at which the water pressure is so immense that it can cause catastrophic structural failure to the vessel.
Remarkably, it was the engineers on board, whose primary role doesn’t include depth monitoring, who noticed the anomaly on a secondary gauge. This observant action averted what could have been the worst Royal Navy disaster since World War Two.
It highlighted the importance of the submarine’s redundant systems, designed to mitigate the risks inherent in such complex and critical military equipment.
Following this incident, which was initially reported by The Sun, the Royal Navy conducted a thorough investigation, the details of which have remained confidential.
However, the Ministry of Defence typically refrains from commenting on the specifics of submarine operations due to their sensitive nature.
While the Navy has reassured that its submarines continue to fulfil their operational duties effectively, this is a stark reminder of the perils faced by those who operate these strategic deterrents.