A Royal Navy nuclear submarine narrowly avoided a potentially disastrous incident after a gauge malfunction caused it to sink towards a dangerous depth, according to reports. The incident involved one of the Vanguard class submarines, which have been in service for three decades. These submarines are equipped with Trident ballistic missiles and accommodate around 140 crew members. As the vessel was preparing for a patrol, a depth gauge malfunctioned, leading the crew to believe they were at a safe level when they were actually still descending. The submarine was approaching a depth that it was not designed to withstand before the situation was rectified. Engineers noticed a second gauge and raised the alarm, averting a potential disaster. Although the submarine was technically operating within its limits, the crew was not at the designated action-stations depth. The seriousness of the situation is emphasized by the fact that it is mandatory for the crew to be at action-stations when the submarine reaches such depths. A submarine carrying nuclear weapons has been continuously patrolling since 1969 as part of the UK’s deterrent strategy. The Royal Navy currently operates four Vanguard class submarines, which are regularly rotated. These aging submarines will be replaced by the Dreadnought class, currently under construction, in the 2030s. A Royal Navy spokesperson emphasized that the safety of personnel is always the highest priority.
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