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UK nuclear sub hit by drugs, sex scandal

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-30 07:45

LONDON - Nine crew members from a British nuclear submarine have been dismissed from the Royal Navy after failing drugs tests, national media in London reported on Saturday.

Four officers, including a captain, have also been removed from HMS Vigilant after breaking the rules forbidding affairs aboard submarines, the Daily Mail reported.

The nine British servicemen were thrown off the vessel, which the reports said was already at the center of a sex probe. They tested positive for a prohibited class-A drug, reported to be cocaine, while on duty and are alleged to have held drug-fueled parties while the submarine was docked in the US to pick up nuclear warheads, the reports added.

The Daily Mail also revealed that the submarine's second-in-command, Lieutenant Commander Michael Seal, 36, has been removed over claims of an extramarital affair with a 27-year-old female engineering officer who has also been taken off the sub.

The submarine had already been embroiled in controversy over an alleged affair between its captain, Commander Stuart Armstrong, 41, and a 25-year-old female junior officer. They both have been removed from duty.

The Daily Mail said the dismissals mean that around 10 percent of HMS Vigilant's 168-strong crew have either quit, been kicked out, are under investigation or have been removed from duty.

All of the service's fleet have a no-touching rule that prohibits intimate relationships aboard warships.

The newspaper said the matter was considered so serious that Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has discussed the situation with the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones.

The BBC in London reported that Fallon has ordered all crew members serving aboard Britain's four nuclear subs to be tested for drugs.

HMS Vigilant is one of the four Royal Navy's submarines which carry up to eight of Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent missiles.


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