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July 30, 2005


A May 2002 internal report to the Australian navy, obtained by The Weekend Australian, revealed their six Collins-class attack submarines have been "plagued by far more serious safety issues than has been publicly admitted." More worrying still is troubling evidence of an "out of sight out of mind" attitude to the problem.

The report, which was distributed to 26 naval commanders, reveals several potentially "catastrophic" incidents at sea, including a fire on board HMAS Waller and damage to crucial battery cables aboard HMAS Farncomb and HMAS Sheean.

Nine months after the report was written, HMAS Dechaineux and its crew of 55 almost sank after it suffered a major flood off the coast of Perth -- as revealed for the first time in The Weekend Australian last Saturday.

Cameron Stewart suggests a culture of secrecy, invaluable to the submarine service in a war-fighting context, may have contributed.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 30, 2005 09:21 AM

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