Big Beasts of the Deep!


The Down News is an online news publication serving the Co Down and Ards peninsula area of the North of Ireland. Today it carries a report about the Celtic League comments after the recent admission by the MOD over the MFV Karen incident when a submarine snagged the vessel and towed in under (see link);

There has been a fair bit of coverage on both sides of the Irish Sea (and on the Isle of Man) about the event but the Down News story highlights a point many other (larger) news sources have missed. As a footnote it gives details of the Submarine HMS Ambush involved in the Karen affair.

It records the speed size (tonnage) and dimensions of the Astute class vessel. The general public perception of a submarine is like something from ‘Das Boot’ the WW 2 Drama but the modern submarine has taken a quantum leap since those days. Indeed at 7.500 tonnes, 318 feet long and 37 feet wide the RN Astute class is more akin to a Cruiser in WW 2.

Indeed the Abdiel Class Cruiser Minelayers (such as HMS Manxman etc) that served up to the late sixties displaced only half the tonnage of a current RN hunter-killer sub and remember these submarines are the ‘little brothers’ of the SSBNs also used by the RN.

It really is past time someone asked if the deployment of such vessels in the Irish Sea and coastal waters busy with both passenger ferries and fishing craft is either safe or warranted.


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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