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Friday (Un)Humor: Navy Warship 'Accidentally' Fires Torpedo At Nuclear Dockyard

Tyler Durden's picture


"Had the thing been armed it would have let out a 200-metre blast...You could be talking about a major loss of life," one source noted as The Telegraph reports British military chiefs have launched a major investigation after a Royal Navy warship accidentally fired a torpedo at a nuclear dockyard. Workers watched in disbelief as the tube-shaped projectile flew through the air before blasting a hole in a security fence and slamming into a storage container. "Someone has obviously pushed the button, presumably by accident - the big question is who," as the Royal Navy stiff-upper-lippedly stated "during a training exercise, an inert Test Variant Torpedo unexpectedly jettisoned onto the wharf. There was no explosion and no casualties." Perhaps they should stay away from the Black Sea for a while - just in case.


Via The Telegraph,

HMS Argyll was moored at Devonport Naval base in Plymouth when the 9ft missile suddenly shot out of its starboard side during a training drill.


Workers watched in disbelief as the tube-shaped projectile flew through the air before blasting a hole in a security fence and slamming into a storage container.


The torpedo was an unarmed version used for testing drills so it merely thudded into the metal container and did not explode.


Nobody was hurt but shocked Navy bosses ordered an urgent investigation into the incident that took place inside a high security area where Britain's nuclear submarines are refuelled and repaired.



The comments from onlookers are stunning and perhaps somewhat comical:

"The torpedo came shooting out of the side of Argyll and flew through the air before going straight through a security fence.


"It's carried on going before hitting a storage container. If anyone was inside it they would have a had a nasty shock - the whole side of the container was stoved in.


"Had the thing been armed it would have let out a 200-metre blast. You could be talking about a major loss of life.


"The Navy guys and the civilian dock workers are understandably appalled by what has happened.


"Someone has obviously pushed the button, presumably by accident - the big question is who."

The Navy stated:

"We can confirm an incident occurred onboard HMS Argyll on Wednesday 12th. The ship was alongside at Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth.


"During a training exercise, an inert Test Variant Torpedo unexpectedly jettisoned onto the wharf. There was no explosion and no casualties.


"An investigation is now under way to determine the cause of the incident. The torpedo is not an explosive hazard.


"The specific details of the incident are subject to further investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Adding that...

torpedo system test firing alongside in the naval base has been suspended subject to completion of the investigation

Let's just delay any torpedo-testing until this whole Russia-Ukraine thing blows over, eh?


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Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:33 | 4549857 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

MmmK.  I am sure they will let us know what happened, so we can feel better over the weekend.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:35 | 4549873 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

The button was mislabeled "RESET."

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:37 | 4549880 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Didn't I see this on an episode of McHale's Navy?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:38 | 4549887 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

They should team up with these guys:

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:48 | 4549917 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Blame it on the Iranians. It is the di rigueur default mechanism for anything that goes wrong.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:57 | 4549937 Sofa King Confused
Sofa King Confused's picture

200 Years ago they were the most feared Navy on the planet.   Now they shoot at themselves.  Sad.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:58 | 4549943 Abi Normal
Abi Normal's picture

What does this button do? --> PUSH!


Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:03 | 4549953 Overfed
Overfed's picture


Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:04 | 4549959 ACP
ACP's picture

"Hey sailor, was that a 9 foot torpedo, or are you just happy to see me?"

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:09 | 4549977 MeMadMax
MeMadMax's picture

Silly brits.

Let mommy and daddy play war ok?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:15 | 4549997 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

wasn't darwin british?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:21 | 4550025 Abi Normal
Abi Normal's picture

hoy, get off the dog and bone, and go down the frog and toad to the rub a dub and have a pigs ear?


that about sums it up right there...

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:28 | 4550045 Manthong
Manthong's picture

You know how it is when you are just sitting there quietly at anchor on a nice day then suddenly you accidentally launch a 9 foot long, 600 pound torpedo at your own base?

I hate when that happens.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 19:33 | 4550256 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

If you are going to have an accidental discharge, go big!

"I thought it was the "EASY" button."

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 20:28 | 4550435 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Looks like someone stole Austin Powers' mojo.  "I swear this never happens, baby!"

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 21:03 | 4550554 Mister Kitty
Mister Kitty's picture

Ooooppppps.  Bitches.

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 01:29 | 4551267 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

-1 for retarded blog post linked. Yes, I read it, and yes it was retarded. Had it not been retarded and even remotely related to your comment or the article content I was willing to give a +1.

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:26 | 4551664 PT
PT's picture

Never mind.  When I get my "Watching Paint Dry" blog up and running, no-one will ever accidentally click on his link again.  My site will be waaaaayyyy too popular.  Then I plan on turning it into a reality TV show with its own Facebook page and Twitter account, and don't forget the T-shirts and bumper stickers!  - I <heart> Watching Paint Dry!  Riveting stuff!  (Without the rivets, just tacky paint ... )

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:29 | 4550051 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Don't forget your new Whistle

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:47 | 4550105 SoilMyselfRotten
SoilMyselfRotten's picture

False Flag event gone awry? Lesser fuses have been lit.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 21:38 | 4550659 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Simple mistake - the part time hire from the staffing agency (gotta save money, you know) thought the button said "Lunch" but it was actually "Launch."

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:11 | 4549981 balanced
balanced's picture

Hah, that video never gets old. I love the way the dude yells upon realizing what's just happened.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:41 | 4549895 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Yea, only that one landed on a japanese beach.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:08 | 4549975 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

McFail's navy

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:47 | 4550103 superflex
superflex's picture

Let's just delay any torpedo-testing until this whole Russia-Ukraine thing blows over, eh?

No worries.  Mossad, CIA and MI6 have assests in the area.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 19:24 | 4550217 Luckhasit
Luckhasit's picture

Kelsey Grammer and Down Periscope?

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 03:44 | 4551357 Element
Element's picture

"Didn't I see this on an episode of McHale's Navy?"

Yup, they sank the Yamamoto.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:56 | 4549932 Hmmmmm
Hmmmmm's picture

Should have posted a sign over it.


"Caution!!! Do not press this button"

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 22:03 | 4550639 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

False flag gone wrong.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:33 | 4549858 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

damn the torpedos

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:33 | 4549861 news printer
news printer's picture

At least Russians won't sink them

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 19:32 | 4550250 Bollixed
Bollixed's picture

Russian hackers are probably laughing their asses off after this stunt...

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:34 | 4549862 666
666's picture

I hope Putin doesn't pee himself by laughing too hard.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:15 | 4549952 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

I'm convinced. There are radiation-proof, reptilian shape-shifters in most positions of power.

CPL posted a link about an overnight nuclear no-no in Canada, earlier today.

What a shit show.

Edit: Today, I took the bike out for the 1st time this year.

Got stuck at a CP freight train. 

Every other car was marked "Government Of Canada" in English and French.



Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:31 | 4550057 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Only got the bike out today???

You missed out on all the 'interesting' winter riding!

I'm in Canada too, by the way.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:54 | 4550134 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

Not in Canada.

Polar Vortex flyover country.

Black ice and road salt...

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 20:31 | 4550444 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Yeah, he was probably still laughing from Banzai7's work earlier today.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:35 | 4549868 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

Famous last words.

"If they fire one, we'll fire one"

"FIRE ONE!" (J.McArthur, The Bedford Incident)

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:04 | 4549957 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

Great movie...

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:36 | 4549875 AynRandFan
AynRandFan's picture

Considering the Brits' state of unreadiness, it might be their only torpedo.  Kinda like Barney Fife's bullet.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:37 | 4549877 AynRandFan
AynRandFan's picture

double post

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:36 | 4549879 docmac324
docmac324's picture

Standby to standby.


Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:03 | 4549955 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

... for a possible maybe.  

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:38 | 4549884 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

   Dummies firing dummies...or duds firing duds.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 19:27 | 4550234 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Yen: I think it's nothing more than premature ejaculation while shooting blanks.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:38 | 4549885 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Was John Kerry on board.......??

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:43 | 4549900 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



Mc Shame might have been he has a real penchant for screw ups. Fortunately for these guys they didn't kill anyone like he did on his own ship.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:56 | 4549934 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Don't forget John McCain's old man the Admiral who sold out the USS Liberty along with Lyndon Baines Johnson-berg.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:05 | 4549962 bonin006
bonin006's picture

I thought that incident was someone else "accidently" firing a missle at McCain.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:04 | 4549958 unrulian
unrulian's picture

He's been firing a lot of blanks lately

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:39 | 4549889 Tracerfan
Tracerfan's picture

This is not your father's Royal Navy.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:40 | 4549891 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Commander Bond "Q, what is this new button on the watch for?"

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:42 | 4549896 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

These guys are on our side, right? Let's hope so....

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:43 | 4549901 KickIce
KickIce's picture

Wasted opportunity, would have been the best April 1st gag ever.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:49 | 4549902 madtechnician
madtechnician's picture

Didn't you know they now employ fired banksters ?

The poor guy was half asleep -

Just another coked-up trade execution that went wrong. aka FAT FINGER

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:45 | 4549903 wisefool
wisefool's picture

I am so poor I am not going to be able to afford the new price for streaming media via prime on So I have been watching as many movies as I can.  If anybody is like me, check out 

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) - IMDb

it is free for prime users. discusses torpedo's being launched while still in inventory.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:45 | 4549905 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

Dr. Strangelove is baaaack...

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:46 | 4549912 ronron
ronron's picture

friday night in england. drunk.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:20 | 4550020 Abi Normal
Abi Normal's picture

hoy, get off the dog and bone, and go down the frog and toad to the rub a dub and have a pigs ear?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:48 | 4549915 Jackagain
Jackagain's picture

Hey...what could go wrong?


Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:50 | 4549921 kito
kito's picture

that basically sums up europes military capabilities. nato is a joke. europe is a joke. couldnt even finish off libya without borrowing a few missles from the u.s. 

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:03 | 4549951 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Obama's Amerika aka Trayvon-ville is catching up.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:47 | 4550100 css1971
css1971's picture


America spends twice as much on the military as the entire rest of the world put together.


Funded by the US Dollar reserve currency buy one get it free charge card.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:51 | 4549923 Judge Crater
Judge Crater's picture

Maybe they were aiming for that storage container.  The only surprise is that the torpedo was not armed.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 19:32 | 4550248 SDShack
SDShack's picture

I heard some lookout yelled "Iceberg dead ahead!" just before the thing was launched.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:55 | 4549931 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

The fire buttons are made by the same GM/DELPHI that makes ignition switches.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:57 | 4549936 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

"The specific details of the incident are subject to further investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further."

There's been a lot of that going around.

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:33 | 4551681 PT
PT's picture


"Those torpedoes you sold us were duds.  Don't believe me?  Well watch THIS!!!" 

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:57 | 4549938 reTARD
reTARD's picture

It was probably hooked up to Obama's Xbox controller.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:58 | 4549941 alfred b.
alfred b.'s picture


     roukie marine:   "Captain, what's this little button for.....ooops!"

     captain:  "you've just earned yourself a promotion...this is what we need in the navy....indiscriminate  & wreckless initiative."


Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:34 | 4550063 bombdog
bombdog's picture

We're posting you in the Gulf were you'll be monitoring civilian airliners coming out of Tehran!

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:00 | 4549947 agent default
agent default's picture

I like Britain.  The public should not be trusted with handguns, but these guys are trusted with torpedoes.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:05 | 4549956 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

Firing a torpedo isn't as simple as just pushing a button.

First an officer says "Prepare to fire torpedo."

Then and officer says "Fire torpedo."

THEN someone pushes a button.


Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:39 | 4550081 bombdog
bombdog's picture

I see. So the button just ignores your finger if you dispense with the ceremony and press it directly. That's a smart button!

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 20:48 | 4550498 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

Well the torpedo still fires. It just... well you see.... (sigh) You just don't understand high-tech weaponry.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:07 | 4549973 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture


-Barack Obama, 11th tee, March 14, 2014

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:16 | 4550000 navy62802
navy62802's picture

Seaman Timmy: Hey, Boss what happens when I press this red button?

Boss: Noooooo .....

Seaman Timmy: What was that woosh sound?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:45 | 4550097 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

Showing off to the ladies while in the fire control room is not permissible on Fridays. That is all.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:18 | 4550012 22winmag
22winmag's picture

More proof that the human race is not mature enough to survive... as if nuclear power wasn't enough proof.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:30 | 4550055 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

I'm a bit ashamed to admit that this incident does not surprise me. I won't say any more than that. 

I'll tell you what we really excel at though: Launching enquiries. Dragging it out for months, have key witnesses lie and repeat, "I do not recollect...", bore everone to death with thousands of pages of fluff, then a pliant judge whitewash the whole thing with a few platitudes.  We're really good at that sort of thing. Ask Tony Blair. 

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:43 | 4550093 css1971
css1971's picture

Tony Blair... The JP Morgan man?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:33 | 4550061 Flybyknight
Flybyknight's picture

Maybe they are trying to shoot themselves in the foot so they can stay home from the Ukraine

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:48 | 4550104 Jumbie
Jumbie's picture

Hmmmmm, has a familiar ring...

TWA Flight 800
Sat, 03/15/2014 - 00:53 | 4551216 Flybyknight
Flybyknight's picture

Any Royal Navy frigates in the vicinity of Malasian airways flight MH370

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 18:54 | 4550131 css1971
css1971's picture

Seem to have forgotten that during training you are supposed stop just short and not press that final button.

Course what this means in reality is that come the real thing, you've spent all your time training not to press the button.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 19:09 | 4550166 wharfdaddy
wharfdaddy's picture

I hate it when that happens

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 19:38 | 4550167 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Gettin pretty luppee...  Must have had a few too many pints before the exercise hey?!!!

Can't believe I'm saying this but if it was either British or U.S. and that thing had been armed "so be it". A handful of (less people) to start the next world war. 

God only knows what these guys did in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya?...  Am I right????

Good PR to make a statement that this must be a "bad omen" kinda of on the level of what happened to the U.S.S. Forrestal and Enterprise during the Vietnam War!

Sure wish John McCain had "bought it" back then on the deck of the Forrestal instead being the ugly traitorous evil pile of shit he grew into...



Fri, 03/14/2014 - 19:47 | 4550305 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Blame those Commie North Vietnamese. They could have kept him with all the other US prisoners Nixon screwed over, but they just had to give him back.

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 19:56 | 4550331 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Couldn't agree with you more.  And when Nixon was raising that glass of vintage Bollinger to his lips toasting Mao over their new "business arrangement", our kids were still coming home in body bags.

These are the fucks that destroy the world, walk away and die old men sleeping peacefully in their beds.



Fri, 03/14/2014 - 19:12 | 4550175 markar
markar's picture

Fat finger?

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 21:53 | 4550337 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Premature ejaculation; but were Seaman involved?

Apparently not.

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:00 | 4551638 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

There is a vas differens to consider in each scenario...

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 20:24 | 4550423 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture


Fri, 03/14/2014 - 20:28 | 4550438 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Bobbies aren't armed, apparently neither are torpedoes - never give a Brit a loaded weapon...

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 22:56 | 4550912 DriveByLurker
DriveByLurker's picture

One is reminded of May of 1941, when the carrier HMS Ark Royal mistakenly lauched all available torpedo planes to attack the cruiser HMS Sheffield...with no damage to either Sheffield or to the aircraft..  

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 00:33 | 4551181 marcusfenix
marcusfenix's picture

how the hell does that even happen?

isn't there some kind of elaborate procedure that involves at least 3 or 4 people before a weapon is fired? 

I mean it doesn't exactly instill confidence if some reserve weekend warrior type can lean on a consul, elbow the big red button and accidentally fire a missile at their own base...

hey, I wounder if they knew for sure it was a dud?

imagine how that conversation went.

"oh shit, oh shit...hey is that thing live?"


"guess not"

this is why the Brits never engage in live fire exercises...


Sat, 03/15/2014 - 21:01 | 4551228 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

By the power of SirToshi, these launch systems are powered by BritCoin!! It haff maffs!

Just like the bitcoin blockchain the BritCoin Torpedo-chain is supported by irreversible 'transactions'!

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 01:30 | 4551268 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

Anyone seen Boris recently?

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 03:55 | 4551365 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture

Reminds me of a story I lived myself. Was sailing on the Waddensea (just North of the Netherlands beneath the Wadden islands) when suddenly we had a shell impact just beside our sailing ship Oeps!

The freakin Dutch Navy was shooting at us from the coast be it with practice grenades it still was a very uneasy feeling.

A Brit who was sailing not so far away from us came closer and shouted “If we have to go, we go together.” Not very comforting either. LOLz

Looking at the map I discovered it was our mistake because we were sailing in official Navy practising waters.

Those Navy buffs must have had quiet some chuckles there on the coastline.

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 09:30 | 4551596 Pseudonymous
Pseudonymous's picture

I'm appalled, appalled I tell you!

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 13:58 | 4552239 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

How do you know it was a drill? That storage container may have looked suspicious to the Captain.

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 17:10 | 4552784 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

Oh wow, I know that name. I think I have your Topps rookie card stashed away somewhere!

Sun, 03/16/2014 - 11:25 | 4554818 Vin
Vin's picture

Very interesting.  We currently have 5 (I think) nuclear aircraft carriers docked together on the east coast, despite military doctrine that says this is a big no-no.  The Lyin' King order them all in and there they sit, like ducks waiting to be picked off.  Maybe we'll have an "accident" too.

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