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Seven Royal Navy Submariners Removed Over Cocaine Use

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HMS Talent (file image courtesy Royal Navy)

By The Maritime Executive 2019-04-15 16:17:15

Seven members of the crew of the Royal Navy submarine HMS Talent have been removed from their posts after testing positive for cocaine, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. 

The crewmembers allegedly attended a party on shore the night before the Talent's scheduled departure, and they failed a drug test when they returned to the vessel, according to local media. 

“We have a zero tolerance drugs policy and will not tolerate misuse of drugs by service personnel in any form or at any time. Any personnel caught taking drugs will be discharged," the MoD said in a statement. 

"It takes years to train submariners to perform highly skilled and highly sensitive roles at sea and the Navy has just lost seven guys due to one night of stupidity," an anonymous Royal Navy source told the Daily Mail. "This is a major embarrassment for top brass."

The Royal Navy had similar difficulties with members of the crew of HMS Vigilant in 2017: high-level commanders removed nine of the sub's sailors over allegations of drug use and two more for improper onboard relationships. 

In September 2017, while Vigilant was at the U.S. Navy's Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia, senior Royal Navy leaders heard reports that her commanding officer was involved in an affair with a subordinate. He was removed; shortly after, his second in command was accused of a similar liaison with a subordinate and was also relieved. In addition, nine junior sailors on the Vigilant's crew allegedly engaged in the use of cocaine at parties on shore. They tested positive for the drug and were discharged from the Royal Navy.