NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Royal Navy submarine HMS Tireless, participating in the Joint U.S. Navy/Royal Navy Ice Exercise 2007 (ICEX-2007) in the Arctic Ocean, experienced an explosion of a self contained oxygen generation candle that killed two crew members and injured one.
The explosion occurred at approximately 12:20 a.m. (EDT) March 21.
The injured member of the crew has been transported by an Alaska Air National Guard C-130 to Anchorage for treatment.
"I am deeply saddened at the loss of the crewmembers from the Tireless," said Vice Adm. Jay Donnelly, Commander, Submarine Force. "Submariners are brothers at sea and we all feel the loss as if it were our own. We stand by to continue to assist in any way we can."
ICEX-2007 and Royal Navy officials have confirmed that the Tireless is safe and operational and that a full assessment is being conducted.
Tireless is commanded by Cdr. Iain Breckenridge of the Royal Navy. It is home ported in Plymouth, Devon, and has been operating with the USS Alexandria (SSN 757), in joint testing on submarine operability and tactical development in Arctic waters.
The U.S. Navy and Royal Navy Arctic cooperation represents an excellent example of the shared vision and resources the two navies enjoy. Since 1986, every Arctic tactical exercise has involved both U.S. Navy and Royal Navy submarines.
The U.S. submarine force conducts exercises in waters around the globe, including the Arctic, in order to guarantee assured access to any ocean in the world. The
submarine force continues to use the Arctic Ocean as an alternate route for shifting submarines between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. U.S. submarines must continue to train in the Arctic environment to refine and validate procedures and required equipment in support of operational safety.
For more information on Navy submarines, weapons systems and Sailors, visit the Submarine Force Web site www.sublant.navy.mil, or the Royal Navy Submarine Web site www.royal-navy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.2442.
For more news from around the fleet, visit www.navy.mil.