More Reports of Submarine Encounters


Just day after the British Ministry of Defence indicated that one of its submarines snagged the N. Irish MFV Karen more evidence of RN submarines failing to carry out safe operating procedure has come to light.

The Irish Times has reported that on two occasions this year fishermen working off Tory Island, Co Donegal have had close encounters with submarines on the surface and in both instances the submarines failed to give way to the MFV.

The Royal Navies own Code of Practice stipulates that a submarine on the surface should maintain a separation from an MFV and normal ‘rules of the road’ should apply. The IMO rules also place the onus on the submarine to avoid MFVs. The RN Code also indicates that communication should be established with nearby craft so as to warn them of any likely dangers posed by the submarine operations.

The Times article indicates no communication took place. The submarine illustrated in the article is identified by the Celtic League as an Astute Class RN nuclear hunter-killer submarine (SSN).

The area to the North and West of Donegal is used for transit by both SSN and SSBN types used by the RoyalNavy. The issue is further complicated by the fact that submarines from the Russian Federation also frequent the area hoping to pick up the tracks of RN vessels departing from their base on the Clyde. Rather embarrassingly for the United Kingdom they had to ask for external NATO assistance in tracking a suspected Russian vessel in the area last December – the UK military no longer has maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

There is a link below to the I Times article.

Meanwhile some countries take an uncompromising attitude to submarines operating in their coastal waters and the attendant dangers they pose. The Finnish Navy fired warning depth charges (low intensity explosives) at a suspected submarine in their territorial seas. Meanwhile neighbouring Sweden undertook a major anti-submarine operation after a suspected intrusion into its waters in October 2014. This year the Swedish military are to get 6 billion kroner to beef up their anti-submarine warfare capability.


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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