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Royal Navy to investigate after shocked ferry passengers spot submarine in water

NewsRoyal Navy to investigate after shocked ferry passengers spot submarine in water

The Royal Navy has launched a probe after stunned passengers on a Scottish ferry spotted a nuclear submarine passing near the coast.

Passengers aboard a CalMac ferry were shocked when they saw the sub partially emerge from the North Atlantic while they travelled from Ullapool to Stornoway earlier this week.

They have told how they initially assumed the shadowy fin and body belonged to a sea creature as they searched for dolphins during the nearly three-hour-long trip across The Minch.

But the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has remained tight-lipped about the unusual incident.

Officials have refused to expand on the events, citing security interests.

Speaking to The Sun, passengers said they spotted the unmistakably sub-shaped silhouette at the entrance to Loch Broom in Wester Ross.

One person aboard the MV Loch Seaforth said they sighted the vehicle off the ship’s stern while on the lookout for “dolphins and whales”.

They said the “big black submarine” was “suddenly there on the surface” when they looked into the distance.

While they weren’t sure whether it had “popped up” or not, they were surprised to see it remain on the surface for “quite a while” until they could no longer make it out.

The MoD has not offered details about the incident, with a spokesman saying they do not “routinely comment on submarine operations” in the interest of security.

But they added they would “investigate this further to establish the full circumstances”.

While officials have not clarified the vehicle that was seen by passengers, Scotland hosts the fleet of Vanguard-class vessels carrying the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

Four submarines – the Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant and Vengeance – make up the Trident programme, which is named after the Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles they carry.

Each missile can deliver a thermonuclear warhead from multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), with at least one submarine on patrol providing continuous seaborne nuclear capability.

They are operated by the Royal Navy and based at the Clyde Naval Base on the Scottish west coast.

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