Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Navy officer in charge of nuclear missiles 'turned up drunk with bag of chicken'

A Royal Navy officer was sent back to Scotland after arriving for work to take charge of nuclear missiles while drunk.

Lieutenant Commander Len Louw was declared unfit for duty having turned up at a submarine in the USA carrying a bag of leftover grilled chicken from a barbecue.

He is understood to have been drinking the night before.

His colleagues became concerned when the weapons engineering officer arrived for work at HMS Vigilant in Georgia carrying the leftover food for his lunch. Louw was told to return from the US navy’s Kings Bay base in Camden County, to Faslane in Scotland and now faces an investigation.

The weapons engineering officer is responsible for all weapons and sensors on board the vessel.

He was declared unfit for duty and sent home pending an investigation, during the incident, which took place more than a month ago.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: ‘An investigation is under way therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further.

‘However, where an individual’s conduct falls short of the high standards we expect, we won’t hesitate to take the appropriate action.

‘While we don’t comment on the detail, there are numerous safety checks and processes to protect the safety and use of weapons aboard all submarines.’

HMS Vigilant is one of the four submarines which make up the UK’s nuclear deterrent and was docked for maintenance at the time of the incident.

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