HMS Tireless Returns Home
The British submarine HMS Tireless (S-88) has returned home to Plymouth, following an Arctic exercise in which two Sailors were killed. The Royal Navy released a statement from the boat's CO, excerpts of which follow:
I am pleased to say that the crewmember who was injured in the same incident has now been released from hospital and flown back to the UK and I would like to say more about him later.Welcome home, lads.
Firstly this happened under the ice in what is probably the most demanding environment for a submarine and in a compartment above the main sleeping area of the crew and while large numbers were asleep. Within minutes and despite the front end of the submarine being full of smoke, the incident had been contained and within the hour I was able to find and safely conduct a controlled surface through a gap in the ice therefore avoiding any damage to the submarine...
...In particular I would like to mention our crewmember who was injured by the initial blast and thrown to the deck. He recovered himself despite his injuries, placed an emergency breathing mask on his face and in complete darkness and zero visibility, due to the smoke, extinguished the numerous small fires in the compartment and allowed access to the Fire fighting and medical teams. Due to the training received and the whole team effort the incident was contained and HMS Tireless was able to safely return to Devonport.
I look forward to the minor damage being rectified quickly and a return to sea as soon as possible. Secondly this explosion is a unique incident in a submarine of the Royal Navy and it is a testament to the design, construction and maintenance that despite this event and the small fire that ensued, no serious damage was done and the submarine could have dived almost immediately bar the need to deal with our casualties and check that there were no side effects for any of the ship’s company. More significantly I achieved a six-day under ice transit without incident and with complete confidence in my submarine. The Royal Navy has been operating nuclear submarines for over forty years and has an exceptional safety record and the Trafalgar class submarine, of which Tireless is one of seven, and is the safest and most capable submarines in the world.