Question 1 August 2016 A Gomes (PSP-S&D)
Subject: Collision involving a nuclear-powered Royal Navy submarine
On 20 July 2016, a nuclearpowered Royal Navy submarine was reported to have been forced into port in Gibraltar due to a collision with a merchant vessel.
Has the Commission been notified of this event by the UK, Spain or Portugal?
Answer 3 October 2016 Commisioner Arias Cañete
On 21 July 2016 the United Kingdom authorities (the Marine Accident Investigation Branch – MAIB) notified the collision between M/V Andreas (IMO 9192741) and a UK military submarine HMS Ambush, which occurred on 19 July 2016 off Gibraltar, to the European Marine Casualty Information Platform (EMCIP) provided for by Article 17 of Directive 2009/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector1.
As it involves a military vessel, the MAIB does not consider that the accident falls within the scope of the said Directive. In this regard the Commission notes that Article 2(2)(a) of the directive explicitly excludes «ships of war» from the scope of the Directive. Hence, the Commission does not expect that any accident investigation will be carried out by the MAIB. No notifications have been received from any other State.
With regard to the fact that HMS Ambush is nuclear-powered, the Court of Justice has ruled2 that the Euratom Treaty and its secondary legislation do not apply to activities or practices of a military nature. However, under Euratom secondary legislation3, an obligation exists for notification to the Commission whenever a Member State decides to take measures of a wide-spread nature in order to protect the general public in case of a radiological emergency, following the detection, within or outside its own territory, of abnormal levels of radioactivity which are likely to be detrimental to public health in that Member State.
161003 EP – Q A Gomes (PSP-S&D) on Collision involving a nuclear-powered Royal Navy submarine, A Com Arias Cañete E-006161.pdf