A British Nuclear Submarine Has Crashed Into a Merchant Vessel

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

A piece of news that everyone’s secretly slightly thrilled by has just emerged, concerning a heavyweight collision off the coast of Gibraltar. HMS Ambush, a British nuclear-powered submarine, managed to hit a merchant vessel while submerged at around 13.30 local time on Tuesday.

The £1.6 billion sub, which measures 97m long and is loaded with torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles, suffered damage to the front section of its conning tower, but its nuclear reactor and crew members are fine. According to the Navy, which has launched an investigation into the incident, there are no safety concerns.

"We are in contact with the merchant vessel and initial indications are that it has not sustained damage,” it said. “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."

This isn’t the first time one of the UK’s nuclear submarines has found itself in trouble off Gibraltar. Back in 2000, HMS Tireless docked for repairs in Gibraltar after a crack was found in a cooling pipe near its nuclear reactor, prompting protests over environmental concerns.

For any of you that came here just for a glimpse of the beast, here's a rundown of the 10 biggest, boldest and barmiest British military vehicles. [BBC]