Nuclear submarine HMS Tireless refused United Arab Emirates entry

HMS Tireless HMS Tireless's visit to the Gulf of Oman was "delayed"

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A nuclear submarine had to be diverted to India after it was refused entry to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It is understood Plymouth-based HMS Tireless sat in international waters for more than a week while a replacement crew waited in the port.

Families of those on board who travelled to meet the crew had to return to the UK without seeing them.

The Royal Navy said it was only a "delay" and "not a safety issue". UAE authorities have not commented.


  • The nuclear submarine was launched on 17 March 1984
  • It holds a crew of 130, and 18 officers
  • In 2000, a fault was discovered on board which forced 12 UK nuclear submarines to undergo intensive inspections. The submarine became stranded in Gibraltar in May of the same year due to leaking pipe work
  • In 2003, the vessel - which has a top speed of 32 knots or 36.8 mph - collided with an object at sea prompting a Ministry of Defence inquiry
  • In 2007, two mechanics died on board when a self-contained oxygen generator exploded while the vessel was at the North Pole
  • In 2012, HMS Tireless returned to Plymouth after a leak in its nuclear reactor

A week after the vessel was not given clearance, a decision was taken to dock in Goa.

Some families are understood to be seeking compensation for the cost of flights and a week of accommodation while in the UAE.

The Royal Navy said: "We do not discuss submarine movements for reasons of security.

"However, I can confirm that HMS Tireless's visit programme in the Gulf of Oman was delayed. We do not routinely comment on submarine operations so we are unable to discuss the detail, although we can confirm it was not a safety issue.

"A small number of families did travel to the region at their own expense in anticipation of the visit. They were kept informed of the situation by local Royal Navy personnel ashore."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office denied there were any diplomatic issues between the UK and the UAE.

It said: "The UK has a long history of co-operation and friendship with the UAE.

"We maintain regular contact at the most senior levels and work together on shared interests and security challenges across the region."

In 2011, 30-year-old HMS Tireless spent 10 months on deployment to the Middle East.

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