I think it’s the name of the sub that makes this story particularly delightful:
LONDON — The Royal Navy hastened to assemble an official inquiry Friday evening to explore why Britain’s newest nuclear submarine, H.M.S. Astute, ran aground while undergoing sea trials off the coast of northwest Scotland on Friday morning and remained stuck on a bank of sand and shingle for nearly 10 hours before a tug pulled it free at nightfall. A spokesman for the Royal Navy said divers would be deployed to check concerns that the submarine’s rudder had been damaged.
The episode was particularly embarrassing for the navy because the vessel, one of the most technologically advanced submarines in the world, is designed for maximum stealth and use in such delicate operations as delivering special forces troops secretly and eavesdropping off the coasts of hostile nations. Its design features and propulsion mechanisms are considered top secret, naval experts said, but both were on display during the grounding…
Residents along the shore of Broadford Bay — close to the spot on the mainland where Prince Charles Edward Stuart, a k a Bonnie Prince Charlie, set sail for Skye after the collapse of his 1745 rebellion against the British monarchy — said the Astute had gone aground well inside red buoys that mark the navigation channel on the approaches to the Skye Bridge….
Critics noted that another British submarine, H.M.S. Trafalgar, ran aground off Skye in 2002. At that time, an inquiry found that a crewman had placed opaque tracing paper over a navigation chart to protect it, leading to the submarine’s running onto well-charted rocks.