A British nuclear submarine was on the brink of tragedy: the engineers’ maneuver that averted it

HMS Vigilant, a British Vanguard-class submarine (Andrew Linnett/MoD Crown Copyright via Getty Images) (Getty Images/)

During a patrol in Atlantica nuclear submarine of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom suffered a descent to depths considered dangerous due to a failure of its depth gauge.

The incident, which occurred last fall, involved a Vanguard class submarinearmed with Trident missiles and with 140 crew on board. Although the ship continued its mission, the event is being investigated by senior military officials, the newspaper reported this Monday. The Sun.

The engineers on board managed stop diving after noticing the discrepancy in the reading of a second pressure gauge, which was working correctly.

According to an unidentified source cited by the British media, the submarine was still operating within safe limits, but was at a depth not planned for the phase of the operation.

“Technically, the submarine was still at a depth where we know it can operate, but if it ever has to descend to that depth, the entire crew is sent to the action stations,” a source told the newspaper, which said Do not name the exact vessel or the depth it reached for safety reasons. The source added: “That had not happened. The submarine shouldn’t have been there and was still diving, and if it had continued… it’s really a no-brainer.”.

The Royal Navy has assured that, despite the incident, its submarines remain operational and the safety of its personnel is the top priority, avoiding providing specific details about the depth reached or the ship involved.

The United Kingdom has four class submarines Vanguard, of which only two are currently operational; one is in the process of being refitted and another is undergoing sea trials after repairs.

The vessels, 150 meters long and capable of reaching 25 knots (46 km/h), were commissioned in 1993 and are scheduled to be replaced by class submarines. Dreadnought towards the early 2030s.

The senior naval commanders have been forced to extend patrols of the Vanguard-class submarines as they approach the end of their service life.

At the beginning of this year, the Times revealed that a nuclear submarine had completed a record round of more than six months.

This has sparked debates about the safety of extend active service of the Vanguardwhose original useful life was planned for 25 years and which is now approaching 40.