Nine sailors sacked in submarine drugs probe​

(CPOA(Phot) Thomas McDonald/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire)
(CPOA(Phot) Thomas McDonald/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire)

THE nuclear submarine at the centre of a sex probe has now been rocked by a drugs scandal.

Nine British servicemen have been thrown off HMS Vigilant after testing positive for cocaine while on duty.

The crew members were booted out of the service and sent home after the class-A drug was found in their systems.

They are alleged to have staged drug-fuelled parties while the vessel was docked in the US to pick up nuclear missiles.

Brendan O’Hara, MP for Argyll and Bute, said he would be tabling an “urgent” question in Parliament tomorrow on the growing scandal.

“The submarine is based at Faslane which is in my constituency and is just five miles from my front door,” he told The Sunday Post.

“My constituents and indeed the people of Scotland need assurances that fit and proper people are in charge of these vessels.

“We cannot have submarines carrying deadly weapons crewed by people who behave like teenagers on their first foreign holiday.

“I will be writing to the Speaker of the House first thing in the morning to demand a full explanation on the matter from the defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon.”

The revelations come after claims earlier this month of inappropriate sexual relationships among some of those on board HMS Vigilant, one of four Vanguard Class submarines which maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent and are armed with Trident missiles.

Commander Stuart Armstrong, 41, was relieved of his duties amid claims he was having an affair with a junior officer.

His second in command Lieutenant Commander Michael Seal, 36, was also removed amid allegations he was having a liaison with another subordinate.

Defence Secretary Fallon is said to be “furious” about the incidents and has ordered mandatory drug testing across Britain’s entire submarine fleet.

Defence commentator Tim Ripley said the scandal was “unprecedented” in naval circles.

“The investigation into these alleged and serious incidents is uncharted waters for the Navy,” he added.

“Investigators will be going through that vessel for signs of any further wrongdoing.”

A spokesman for the Royal Navy confirmed compulsory drug testing on HMS Vigilant had produced nine positive results and that nine individuals have already been discharged as a result of this.