On January 21st it was revealed that a Royal Navy Nuclear Submarine had a close quarters incident with the Stena Superfast VII ferry in the Irish Sea.
The incident took place on November 6th, 2018. It is unclear if the investigation began prior to January 21st, 2019.
The Stena line ship carries out a scheduled two and a half hour ride between Belfast and the Scottish port of Cairnyan.
The Stena Superfast VII vessel holds 1,300 passengers and 660 motors. The Royal Navy sub was shallow enough to extend its periscope above the water’s surface.
According to the BBC, the UK Ministry of Defense refused to confirm which of its 10 submarines was involved. “All of its submarines are nuclear-powered but only four carry Trident nuclear missiles.”
BBC cited a spokesperson for the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) who said:
“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.”
BBC also cited a Royal Navy spokesperson:
“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’s investigation.”
Finally, a spokesman for Stena had the following to say:
A spokesperson for Stena said:
“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.”
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), publishes regular reports of its investigations. It is expected, and the UK Ministry of Defense confirmed that such a report would also be published regarding the incident.