• Run aground: HMS Astute.

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    These photographs show the RN’s newest and most capable (?) attack submarine,HMS Astute aground on a shinglebank off the small island of Eilean Ban. Eilean Ban is the small island across which the Skye road bridge runs. The submarine can clearly be seen from the bridge and the scene is attracting onlookers.

    A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “We have sent a coastguard tug to where the submarine ran aground on rocks at the Kyle of Lochalsh near the Skye bridge. It will stand by and monitor what will be going on. We think on the rising tide, at around 6pm, there should be some movement of the vessel.”

    British Gazette comment: This incident serves as a metaphor for what is going on in our country today. The shinglebank on which the boat has grounded is clearly marked on Admiralty charts and the tidal flows are well known – it is after all our back yard! It is reported that the boat was manoeuvring to pick up some shipwrights in a liberty boat and that the boat is still undergoing trials THREE YEARS after commissioning. The British Gazette asks: What is going on here? Why are shipwrights boarding the boat off Skye and not attending to their work at Faslane? The sea state appears to be about two. The tidal flows are charted and well known. There will of course be an investigation.

    • One of two likely scenarios I suggest;
      1. navigation equipment failure.
      2. Some one not “watching the shop”.

      Somehow I would find the former the hardest to accept as not watching the shop, briefly, could be put down to the human condition which is ….to make mistakes. However, the former would tend me to wonder if the Navy is going the way of so many “professions” whereby , in what ever sphere, if the computer fails there is no human skill available as a back up.

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