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BBC: "Navy Officer 'Unlawfully Killed' In Submarine Shooting"


War Hero
How did this bloke A/B what ever he was get away with being pissed on Trot and with a gun?
What Navy did I leave behind!!


War Hero
Super Moderator
How did this bloke A/B what ever he was get away with being pissed on Trot and with a gun?
What Navy did I leave behind!!

I don't believe it says he was pissed Fred, just rants on about a drink culture. I'm sure you've been bladdered on a run ashore before?

He (Wiseman) said a culture of drinking to excess had to stop, and a system of alcohol testing prior to duty should be introduced.

Personally, I'm getting increasingly poxed off with civvy beaks (wise men or not) pontificating on Service matters. In this case, the man is telling the Navy what it's got to do.

OK, it all looks to be a significant cluster f**k on the Andrew's part but we don't need yet more bloody "knee jerk" rectification measures.

Disengaging rant mode now.


War Hero
Sadly, this one cock has single handledlydlydly cocked it up for many. The fun police will now move in and finish off the job of putting the nails in the coffin of any current alcohol entitlement. This may well have profound effects for some time to come.


War Hero
Think you're right on that one Polto, though would be more inclined to change 'some time to come' for 'ever'. Once in place such restrictions are unlikely to be lifted. In my opinion.


Lantern Swinger
3 times the drink drive limit is quite a glow on IMHO.

I'm sure we have all been there at one time or another ourselves.
Sailing from Jamaica as Stbd throttle jocky on a 21 I figure I must have been over that figure. Could not even see the gauges. Clever? No. Stupid? Probably but I sure as hell didn't go shooting the rest of the SCC watch up.
Sure things will change, not for the better I would guess.


"3 times the drink drive limit is quite a glow on IMHO."

"Tests revealed Donovan's blood would have contained 139mg of alcohol per 100ml -
76% above the drink-drive limit." - BBC

76% over means 176% of the drink drive limit that's 1.76 times the limit not 3 times.
IMHO you should check your maths.

Alcohol shouldn't be blamed that simplifies the situation this was a premeditated attack.
Perhaps something could have been done earlier to prevent this happening who knows hind sight is a bitch.

BBC News - Sailor who murdered officer on submarine HMS Astute jailed for life

That said alcohol was clearly a factor I think perhaps the cornor recomendations should be considered.


Lantern Swinger
How did this bloke A/B what ever he was get away with being pissed on Trot and with a gun?
What Navy did I leave behind!!


Got to be impressed with the I/C of the duty watch for that day. If the guy was showing signs of being over the limit as per the press, then he should have not been allowed to carry the F*ck*ng gun, I had to arm sentries / gangway staff and whilst serving and whilst I was not the doc it was bloody obvious if someone was ott to the extend the press are saying this guy was and act before the shooting starts, But will the total truth come out probably not

Alcohol shouldn't be blamed that simplifies the situation this was a premeditated attack.
Perhaps something could have been done earlier to prevent this happening who knows hind sight is a bitch.

That said alcohol was clearly a factor I think perhaps the cornor recomendations should be considered.

Agree entirely with your first point. The bloke was either a nutter or a nasty bugger with a low flip/nil self discipline threshold.

Your second point is a lead into a bloody thick wedge, though. How many have you been pissed to over 4 times the limit without losing contact with reality? The f**ck up wasn't a good run ashore but that's the easy option the buggers will latch on to. Before we know it, we will be American dry and made to feel grateful for the enlightenment.
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I sincerely hope this tragic but isolated incident involving someone who was obviously mentally unstable and shouldn't have been in the Service anyway, let alone issued a weapon, won't lead to any knee-jerk reactions regarding the reasonable consumption of alcohol in the Royal Navy.

Since time immemorial, Captain's Standing Orders have tended to state, quite sensibly in my opinion, "Your drinking is your own affair until you make it mine." Any draconian measures will just lead to secret, unsupervised drinking with all the associated problems that presents.


War Hero
The RN has always had a 'drinks culture' but over the years this has, in my experience reduced markedly in the main. I remember there used to be bars in the dockyard, often called "duty watch" bars which were toppers every lunchtime with people who were supposed to be on their ship as part of the duty watch fire & emergency party personnel. In shore bases, the bars were open every lunchtime.

The removal of the tot (before my time) was probably the start of it and the practice of drinking at sea has, I believe dwindled in the General Service to virtually negligible numbers, certainly by previous standards - following-on from the long-standing Submariner & Small Ships ethos of strictly "no alcohol at sea". From an outsiders point of view, it's very difficult to justify duty free alcohol whilst at sea and it's certainly long been the practice of "zero alcohol" in the offshore oil industry and, so far as I'm aware, in the Merchant Navy also nowadays.

Few would argue the combination of alcohol and firearms is acceptable & I'd agree the murderer may well have carried out his actions without alcohol (or drugs) in any case, but a breathalyser would have stopped this individual having access to weapons and ammunition of this fateful day.

A UK port visit by a nuclear submarine is, at best, not a particularly regular event and the practice of accommodating personnel in hotels arguably contributes to the sense of distance from work and recreation. On surface ships a drunk person returning on board, known to be duty the following day is more likely to be clocked and intercepted - but, to be fair, we all know cases where they aren't.

Don't know what the answer is, but I do actually believe the mindset toward alcohol in the RN is changing, maybe now is the time to turn that corner and face-up to the fact that perhaps the Coroner has a point, even if it isn't a universally popular one.

By contrast is alcohol available in Camp Bastion I wonder?
No. In some earlier operations eg Balkans the "two-can rule" applied, in principle, but it did limit consumption. Gulf operations have been dry.

Toucan rule - Does that mean Guinness is compulsory ?

THe RFA have been subject to random screening for drugs / alcohol for quite a few years. In addition the HoD can subject an individual to the breathalyser if he /she suspects an individual to be over the agreed limit. In which case a failure will automatically instigate a disciplinary investigation following dismissal from ship.


War Hero
Mein Gott! the sodding Calvinists are winning. What happened to bloody common sense and Duty Officer judgement?

Indeed. What happened to it on the day in question? What established, cast iron routines are in place that categorically ensures we don't have pissed personnel wandering about a war canoe, laden with explosives, carrying loaded firearms?

Laying blame on a 'Duty Officer' with the benefit of hindsight is rather unjust. Most would agree that a deranged individual may well have done what he did with or without alcohol but the Coroner, in possession of the full facts, appears to think that drunk personnel possibly shouldn't be armed because someone may subjectively think they aren't drunk.
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