HC Deb 18 June 1951 vol 489 cc15-6W
91. Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he has a further statement to make on H.M.S. "Affray."

Mr. Callaghan:

I have no further information about the state of the wreck of H.M. Submarine "Affray" than was given in the Admiralty statement issued on Saturday last, which is reproduced below. H.M.S. "Reclaim" will remain in harbour until the neap tides due about 25th June make operations possible once more. Many theories are being put forward for public discussion. The Admiralty adheres to none of them, for not enough is yet known about the state of the wreck to form conclusions. A naval board of inquiry will be set up by the Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, in due course. The date for convening it will depend upon what additional information can be secured.

Following is the statement: The Admiralty report that a preliminary survey by observation chamber of the whole length of the wreck of H.M. Submarine "Affray" indicates that she is in normal condition except that her Snort device is damaged. All hatches are closed and her indicator buoys are housed. That is, they were not released. Her hydroplanes are set to rise. The present indications are that no attempt was made to use any of the escape hatches. This tends to confirm the previously expressed Admiralty view that disaster must have overtaken the submarine and her crew very suddenly. The naval diving ship H.M.S. "Reclaim" is returning to harbour, as tidal conditions are unfavourable for mooring and there is the risk that her dragging anchors might damage the wreck.

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