Newly released diaries from the crew of the HMS Brilliant reveal that the submarine killed three whales during the Falklands War, thinking they were enemy submarines.
HMS Brilliant was tasked with helping defend the HMS Invincible, one of two British aircraft carriers deployed in the south Atlantic Ocean, against Argentine submarine and missile attacks, reported the Plymouth Herald.
During the first encounter, crew members launched torpedoes after making “small sonar contact.” Afterward a crew member wrote that crew on a helicopter saw whale oil.
Later the same day another whale was killed, also mistaken for a submarine.
Sonar equipment has greatly improved since the 1982 war, said the Ministry of Defense.
A spokesman for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation said that it wouldn’t expect for the Royal Navy to deliberately blow up whales.