Sailors tend to be more superstitious than the rest of us. The long list of nautical legends, folklore, and superstitions may seem odd in the 21st century, but until 20 or 30 years ago, many in the Navy still believed that a woman onboard a ship was considered ‘bad luck’ as well as a ‘distraction’ to an all-male crew.
Rubbish we will call that now, until….
Nuclear submarine HMS Vigilant came into the news this weekend for just such a story. Sub-Lieutenant Miss Rebecca Edwards, a weapons engineering officer in her twenties who, we will admit, is not the worst looking, was relieved of her post for having an “inappropriate relationship” with the ship’s captain.
The captain of the ship, Commander Stuart Armstrong, 41 years old, gave up his position to another senior officer after fellow officers on board had threatened to resign when the affair became public.
In an incredible twist, the second-in-command, Lt Commander Michael Seal, was afterward also removed for having a similar relationship with another female officer onboard. How totally un-British.
A source within the Royal Navy commented: "This is the woman believed to have had an inappropriate relationship with the CO of HMS Vigilant. An investigation is ongoing but this is not good for either of them. Something seriously wrong happened on HMS Vigilant and we are trying to the bottom of it."
In the UK Navy, relationships within the chain of command are strictly forbidden and where relationships exist in a crew but outside the command chain, a strict "no touching" policy is in place on deployment in a ship.
A British Ministry of Defense spokesman said: “We can confirm the Royal Navy is undertaking an investigation. While this is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to discuss further."
It must have been quite an entertaining voyage on HMS Vigilant we assume. You can only assume that she allowed the captain to ‘up his periscope?’