HMS Tireless In Southampton

A Royal Navy nuclear submarine arrived in Southampton on Thursday March the 1st, almost a year after an officer was killed on board a sister vessel during an almost identical visit.

HMS Tireless, a Trafalgar class submarine, is visiting the city for five days, giving local dignitaries, sea cadets, Scouts and other youngsters an opportunity to sample life on board.

In April last year, during a visit by HMS Astute to Southampton, Able seaman Ryan Donovan killed Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux and also shot Lieutenant Commander Christopher Hodge in the stomach.

Donovan was later jailed for life and told he would serve at least 25 years in prison.

The murder happened during a visit by civic dignitaries, and Southampton City Council leader Royston Smith and chief executive, Alistair Neill, heroically wrestled the weapon from Donovan.

Mr Smith said that returning on board a submarine in the same location ''evoked memories'' of the ''traumatic incident'' but he was keen to show the city's support for the armed forces.

He said:

''We haven't had a visit by a Royal Navy submarine since and I didn't want to wait any longer because I wanted to still be in position to welcome one, which in this case is Tireless.

''It does evoke memories but I wanted to demonstrate that the military and all its facets are welcome in Southampton.

''Whatever happened last year was an isolated incident and had no bearing on our relation with the Navy.

''The chances of that happening again are so remote and you can't live your life like that - I am very happy to go back on board one.

''It was a particularly traumatic incident for all those on board and these things can evoke memories but you just have to move on.''

Commanding officer Commander Hywel Griffiths said: ''It is a welcome opportunity for my ship's company to meet people and visit the city of Southampton and for local people to visit us so that we may demonstrate how we are engaged day-to-day in protecting our nation's interests.''

Last May, Plymouth-based Tireless returned from a 10-month deployment to the Middle East - the longest Royal Navy submarine deployment in recent history.

The submarine conducted covert missions in support of counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and counter-piracy operations.

HMS Tireless will leave Southampton on Tuesday March the 6th.