A twentysomething female officer from the United Kingdom who worked aboard a nuclear submarine has been kicked off the ship after she allegedly got caught up in an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with a fellow crew member.
Sub-Lieutenant Rebecca Edwards was among the crew of the HMS Vigilant when it was stationed in the North Atlantic and headed to the United States to obtain new Trident nuclear warheads, the Sun reported.
The incident appears to have involved Commander Stuart Armstrong, 41, who was sacked last month after multiple crew members went into open rebellion due to the allegations of sexual misconduct.
“An investigation is ongoing but this is not good for either of them,” a source told the outlet. “Something seriously wrong happened on HMS Vigilant and we are trying to get to the bottom of it.”
In addition to Edwards and Armstrong, Lt. Cdr. Michael Seal was also taken off the submarine amid allegations of sexual relations with an unnamed female officer. Such a relationship would violate a restriction on senior officers cozying up with their subordinates, as well as a blanket “no touching” policy aboard UK submarines.
In a statement, the country’s Ministry of Defence remained tight-lipped about the swirling allegations: “We can confirm the Royal Navy is undertaking an investigation. While this is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to discuss further.”
Edwards graduated from Bristol University before joining the Senior Service as an officer. Her stint aboard the nuclear submarine comes after the UK lifted a ban on women serving on subs in 2011, with the first female officers joining crews in 2014.
HMS Vigilant is one of just four nuclear armed submarines belonging to the UK, whose mission is to provide sea deterrent and carry out secret patrols that allow them to be ready to answer any threat or provocation.