HC Deb 05 July 1971 vol 820 cc290-1W
Mr. Judd

asked the Minister of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on the mishap which occurred to H.M.S. "Artemis" on Thursday, 1st July.

Mr. Kirk

I regret that H.M.S. "Artemis", one of our older submarines, sank alongside the jetty at the submarine base at Gosport last Thursday evening. Twelve of the watchkeepers aboard at the time managed to get clear but three men were trapped in a forward compartment where they remained, in contact with the rescue team, until it was light enough for a successful escape early on Friday morning. All are well.

As soon as the incident occurred, the Subsunk procedure went into operation involving the assembly of diving teams and the sailing of salvage vessels to the scene of the accident. I would like to pay tribute to the speed and skill with which both naval and civilian personnel concerned reacted to this emergency thereby helping to achieve a copy-book rescue.

Salvage operations have continued over the week-end and the "Artemis" should be raised during the course of the next few days.

A board of inquiry has been convened to look into the cause of the incident.

Back to