UK Nuclear Submarine HMS Ambush Damaged in ‘Glancing Collision’

July 21, 2016 Updated: July 21, 2016    

A British nuclear submarine was damaged on Wednesday after it was “involved in a glancing collision” with another vessel, according to a statement from the U.K. Ministry of Defense.

The HMS Ambush was submerged and carrying out a training exercise when it hit a merchant vessel near Gibraltar.

“We are in contact with the merchant vessel and initial indications are that it has not sustained damage,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement. “The submarine suffered some external damage but there is absolutely no damage to her nuclear plant and no member of the ship’s company was injured in the incident.”

U.K. defense officials are conducting an investigation.

The HMS Ambush entered Gibraltar late Wednesday for further checks.

“There are no safety concerns associated with HMS AMBUSH being alongside,” the statement read.

The submarine was operating from Gibraltar, which is a contested British territory in southern Spain since late June. The nuclear submarine operations were met with protests in the tiny British enclave of 30,000.

Photos published by the Gibraltar Chronicle showed the front of the Ambush’s conning tower had been damaged near the top.

The HMS Ambush is an Astute-class submarine. It was commissioned in 2013.

The Ambush’s nuclear reactor won’t need to be refuelled in the submarine’s 25-year service. The submarine can circumnavigate the planet without resurfacing.

Other attack submarines in the The U.K. Royal Navy’s fleet have suffered damage in the past. Last year, the submarine HMS Talent suffered damage after it hit ice while following a Russian Navy ship. And in 2010, the HMS Astute ran aground in Skye.

RECOMMENDED