By Mark T Connor • 16 July 2020 • 12:30
The ferry which was involved with the near miss. Pic Twitter
Reports have found that the crew of the Navy vessel were at fault when they misjudged the speed and range of the passenger ferry
Two vessels, a Royal Navy Nuclear Submarine, and a Stenna Line passenger ferry came within 50 -100 meters of collision on 6th November 2018, after safety decisions were made on board the submarine which were based on inaccurate information an investigation has found.
The crew of the Stenna Superfast VII Ferry which was on its normal route from Belfast to Cairnryan had to take ‘immediate’ action to avoid collision with the Navy sub after an eagle eyed crew member spotted the submarines periscope nearby.
“Both vessels were placed in danger due to the submarines control room team overestimated the ferry’s range and underestimated its speed,” the report found, “This combination meant that the submarine’s commanding officer and its officer of the watch made safety-critical decisions that might have appeared rational to them at the time but were actually based on inaccurate information.”
The Nuclear powered sub, based at Faslane in Scotland, was patrolling an area of the ferry’s route when the near miss occurred, the ferry was carrying 215 passengers and 67 crew at the time.
Following the incident, the master of the ferry notified the coastguard, saying the submarine’s periscope had passed down the starboard side of the vessel at a range of 50-100 metres.
The report said: “During safety training in the North Channel, the command team of a submerged submarine did not take sufficient action to prevent the ferry, Stena Superfast VII, passing inside its go-deep range.
“This was an unsafe event and placed the ferry’s passengers and crew, as well as the submarine and its crew, in immediate danger.”
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