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Submarine but not heard

Crew yell ‘Ow, submarine!’ after deep impact

The HMS Victorious, a Vanguard class submarine

The Vanguard’s Captain is worried about his no-claims bonus

photo: © Crown Copyright/MOD 2009

A Royal Navy and a French nuclear submarine have both limped back to port after a prang during a routine prowl around the mid-Atlantic awaiting the command to end the World.

HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant were engaged in a slapstick tip-toe manoeuvre around a rocky outcrop, checking behind them as they reached the corner only to discover that they had crashed into one-another, damaging the sonar dome, scratching paintwork and dislodging the wing mirrors on the French vessel.

Captain Marvin Wilcox explained the incident: ‘Both submarines took pre-emptive evasive action after realising that they were passing close to the flight path of a passenger jet bound for JFK airport in New York.’

The collision happened in spite of both subs being equipped with sonar, probably because the vessels have been extremely carefully engineered to be silent—indeed, totally undetectable. ‘We should be relieved!’ implored defence analyst Dr Francis Bargle from his wheelchair, ‘If even an ally’s adjacent submarine can’t tell where our nuclear deterrent is skulking, then clearly we have the best-hidden nukes in the World, and we will win the apocalypse.

‘We will even have 135 survivors—butch sailors, no less—whose duty it will be to re-populate the Earth.’

Both navies have downplayed the accident, claiming that the submarines were not damaged, and that nuclear security was not compromised at any point during proceedings. ‘We could have still blown the crap outta them damn Russkies!’ ranted retired Admiral Roger Bighouse.

Former Russian defence chief Rogvold Bighouski countered ‘Hah! In Soviet Russia, submarine crashes into submarine!’, though he did concede that his ‘Russian reversal’ putdown did not work as well with two identical nouns.

Kate Hudson, chairwoman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, was quick to condemn the scrape as ‘a nuclear nightmare of the highest order’. She clearly has no imagination at all.


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