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Commander was bathing as British n-submarine hit sandbank

United Kingdom,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Defence/Security, Wed, 25 Apr 2012 IANS

London, April 24 (IANS) An inquiry has concluded that the commander of the Royal Navy's newest nuclear-powered submarine was taking a shower minutes before it ran aground in 2010.


According to the report, Commander Andy Coles was spotted returning to his cabin as HMS Astute, Britain's most advanced hunter-killer sub, headed into a sandbank, the Daily Mail reported.


The embarrassing detail is included in the inquiry which found that a catalogue of errors contributed to the beaching of the one billion pound (over $1.6 billion) submarine off the west coast of Scotland Oct 22, 2010.


It adds that the 330ft flagship vessel, which had surfaced, ran aground on shingle off the Isle of Skye because the officer on the bridge was not using the correct radar, did not have a chart and was not used to navigating in the dark.


The Navy's humiliation was compounded when a rescue vessel crashed into HMS Astute, causing even more damage.


The cost of repairs to the sub is understood to have run into hundreds of millions of pounds.


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