Tuesday, February 17, 2009


“Antonio, Raquel, Javier, Felipe y compañeros, pedimos a Janet y los compañeros de Gibraltar hacer una protesta enérgica al Ministerio de Defensa del RU y lo mismo a Francia, así como a Bruselas por las consecuencias desastrosas que hubiese tenido la colisión de éstos dos submarinos.”

I received the above email from JJ Uceda this morning which of course concerns the collision of the British and French nuclear submarines in the Atlantic.

The two nuclear-armed submarines collided while on separate patrols in the Atlantic Ocean but the British Admiralty insisted there were no injuries or radioactive leaks.

Analysts have stated that a major disaster could have resulted had the underwater collision ruptured the hulls, set off conventional ammunition or started a fire, although the chances of a full nuclear explosion were apparently - virtually nil - but not it would seem – totally nil.

Coming closer to home British and US nuclear submarines are not infrequent visitors to Gibraltar. Given the chaotic state of shipping in the bay zone with numerous collisions and groundings in the past year one has to ask how safe these visits are. After all if two state-of-the-art nuclear subs can collide in the comparative wide open spaces of the Atlantic the chances of a submarine’s hull being ruptured by an errant tanker, ferry or cargo ship must be much greater.

Of course the merchant vessel could be the totally innocent victim. Apart from the floating disaster HMS Tireless (see above at Gibraltar in 2004) it was only last May that the Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine, HMS Superb, on a training mission in the Red Sea was damaged when it hit a submerged rock.

If there was a major incident involving a nuclear submarine in the bay the consequences could be horrific. Apart from the tragedy on the vessels involved the bay is lined with major industries with large populations in both Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar.

Now, when my boat comes in, has a totally new meaning!

1 comment:

Cybernest said...

Cordiales saludos!

I thought you might be interested to read my comment on this subject. You can find it over at my blog: A Gibo's Tale: Nuclear submarine collision in Gibraltar... what if?

I know 'green' issues are close to your heart too...