Skip to main content


HMS Astute alongside at Southampton Docks

 UPDATES:  As always seems to happen in these incidents, since the Media nowadays rushes to be 'first-with-the-news', the updated story is somewhat different from the original this morning.  It now appears that the shooting did take place on board HMS Astute and NOT on the pier ashore as first reported; also the weapon was NOT a 9mm pistol but an SA80 assault rifle.  The Rating had just been issued the SA80 for his sentry duty to relieve the Watch.  An argument broke out in the Control Room which resulted in his opening fire killing the Weapons Engineering Officer LT.CMDR. Ian Moyneaux RN and seriously wounding another Rating.  The Rating was restrained, disarmed, detained and taken into custody by the Hampshire Constabulary which is the local police service for the Port of Southampton, Hampshire. 

No doubt there will be further corrections to the story as it progresses. 

Able Seaman Ryan Donovan RN
Indeed there is, it is now reported by 'The Mirror' a more dramatic newspaper than 'The Telegraph', that the wounded crewmember was also an Officer namely LT.CMDR. Chris Hodges RN.  The shooter is now named as Able Seaman Ryan Donovan RN (22) who is seen above.  On a personal note having commanded 500 multi-gender, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, crewmembers and in fairness to this young man he appears very tired and under great personal stress.  NAUTICAL LOG therefore does not believe he should have been selected for sentry duty, which resulted in his being armed with an SA80 assault rifle.  It is the duty of his Division Officer to assess the suitability of personnel for their duties most particularly for sentry duty.  No doubt the Investigation will sort it all out.

Cut away view of RN Astute Class submarine

Police and Harbour launches alongside
Police vans and Armed Police controlling the Pier entrance

There has been an extraordinary tragic incident aboard HMS Astute a nuclear-powered submarine while berthed at Southampton, Hampshire, England according to 'The Telegraph'.   A Rating shot two fellow crewmembers this morning during a visit by the City Council Leader, City Mayor and City Chief Executive.   Tragically one of the crewmembers, who is a Royal Navy Officer, is dead and the other seriously wounded.  The Royal Navy has stated that the incident is not terrorist related and there is no Public danger.

The Hampshire Constabulary have arrested the Rating and he is now in their custody, both a Constabulary and Royal Navy Investigations are getting underway.  The City 'fathers' are quite safe and by now will have left the vessel. 

HMS Astute at Southampton Docks this morning
 NAUTICAL LOG cannot recall such an incident in a Royal Navy vessel in recent times and is somewhat surprised that weapons were readily available.  However later reports indicate that the shooting took place ashore on the pier following an altercation between the armed sentrys at the change of the Watch. The Rating shot the Officer dead and seriously wounded a fellow Rating with his 9mm pistol before being restrained.

Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with India to free them.


Popular posts from this blog


It sometimes happens that one is going to write a Post on a subject when lo and behold there is already an excellent one.  Such is the case today; so rather than repeat everything let me refer you to the source of that Post

At present we are experiencing Perigean Spring Tides which occur when the Moon is at perigee on its oval path that is the closest point to Earth.  One of the principal results are higher than usual Spring Tides as against the Neap Tides.

Should you be interested in the full explanation of this phenomenon then you might like to reference "Old Salt Blog" which has an excellent explanation of this event and uses all the correct terms - quite unlike our Media here in South Florida.

Good Watch.


In addition to the recent "Standing Down" of training voyages for its Midshipersons the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has received warnings about the quality, or lack thereof, of its training programme.  The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) report stated that accreditation was in jeopardy for non-compliance in certain areas.

Coupled with the continuing problems requiring disciplinary actions including dismissal from the Navy the United States Navy (USN) has had in recent years this does not bode well for the professionalism of the seafaring community of the United States.

It is clear to this writer, an International Master Mariner with 50 years of experience, that the training sources for both Officers and Ratings need an immediate complete examination and review.  Currently the Officer commanding riverine craft based in Bahrain has been dismissed.  Another nine Officers and Ratings are under disciplinary action as a result of the capture by…


NAUTICAL LOG has on previous occasions discussed the SS El Faro VDR in a Post titled RELUCTANCE TO RECOVER and two other Posts about the VDR (Voyage Data Recorder) of the SS El Faro

The Ship sank in Hurricane Joaquin on October 01, 2015 off the Bahamas.  There has seemed to be a reluctance by all parties involved to continue the attempt to recover the VDR from some 15,000 feet - admittedly a considerable depth.  However because of the importance of possible data on the recorder such an attempt must be made.

Finally the NTSB has contracted with the USN Supervisor of Salvage to assist in the recovery of the VDR.  The USNS Apache will depart in early July 2016 together with USCG, Phoenix International and an underwater operating vehicle the CURV-21.

Once the VDR is recovered it will be brought ashore to the NTSB laboratory and thoroughly studied to download and analyze the information.  With these results in hand the USCG will conduct a two hearings to investigate the sinking and questio…