The Royal Navy has launched an investigation after the captain of a submarine allegedly held a barbeque with dance music for his submariners during the coronavirus lockdown.
A defence source said the barbeque alone – for a crew that was on a brief break after weeks at sea – would not have triggered such action but the commanding officer of HMS Trenchant, a nuclear-powered submarine, was also being investigated over a number of other alleged “errors of judgement”.
Video posted on social media apparently shows the crew watching what looks to be a makeshift DJ set at a naval base in Devonport, Plymouth.
The exact date is not clear but the defence source said it allegedly happened early on in the coronavirus lockdown when the significant effort by the government to tell people to stay at home and not to socialise was just beginning.
The sight of a few dozen submariners – even though none of them could have COVID-19 because they had been together at sea in their submarine when the pandemic hit the UK – was not thought to be a good idea by more senior officers.
The commanding officer was allegedly asked by phone to stop the barbeque, but he allegedly allowed it to continue.
At the time, HMS Trenchant was only at the base for a number of days before it was due to head back out to sea.
The commanding officer remains in command of the boat. He is not facing any disciplinary action, only the risk of administrative action if the investigation finds that he did anything wrong.
A Royal Navy spokesperson said: “An investigation is underway. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”
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