Seaman who raised safety fears at Trident nuclear programme to hand himself in

A Royal Navy submariner who criticised safety and security procedures around the Trident nuclear programme has said he will hand himself over to the authorities.

Able Seaman William McNeilly went absent without leave last week after producing a damning 18-page report containing a series of claims about Trident submarines at Faslane on the Clyde, describing it as a ”disaster waiting to happen”.

He told the BBC: “I’m not hiding from arrest; I will be back in the UK in the next few days and I will hand myself in to the police.

“Prison — such a nice reward for sacrificing everything to warn the public and government. Unfortunately that’s the world we live in. I know it’s a lot to sacrifice and it is a hard road to walk down, but other people need to start coming forward.”

The Royal Navy said the Trident submarine fleet operated “under the most stringent safety regime”.

An official investigation was launched after McNeilly, originally from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, raised his concerns.

He said he was on patrol with the Trident submarine HMS Victorious this year. His report alleged 30 safety and security flaws on the submarines.

He claimed there are fire risks and leaks on board and that security checks are rarely carried out on personnel and contractors working on the submarines when they are docked at Faslane.

He also alleged that alarms had been muted because they went off so often, missile safety procedures had been ignored, and top secret information was left unguarded.

The Royal Navy said many of the claims are ”subjective and unsubstantiated personal views, made by a very junior sailor, with which the naval service completely disagrees”.


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