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Officer relieved of command over grounded sub

By the CNN Wire Staff
A file image of the British Royal Navy nuclear submarine, HMS Astute, taken on November 20, 2009.
A file image of the British Royal Navy nuclear submarine, HMS Astute, taken on November 20, 2009.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cmdr. Andrew Coles had been in charge of HMS Astute
  • The submarine ran aground off Scotland in October
  • The Ministry of Defence says he will be reappointed within the navy
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London, England (CNN) -- The officer in charge of the British nuclear submarine that ran aground in October has been removed from command, the Ministry of Defence said Saturday.

Andrew Coles had been commanding officer of HMS Astute, which the United Kingdom calls its most powerful attack submarine.

"Commander Coles will continue to serve in the Royal Navy and he will be reappointed to a post where his talents and experience can be used to best effect," a ministry statement said. "A new commanding officer will be appointed as soon as possible."

The HMS Astute ran aground off the Isle of Skye, in northern Scotland, while doing sea trials.

Its nuclear propulsion system was not damaged in the incident and its reactor was declared safe, with no environmental impact, the ministry said.

It was eventually pulled free and escorted back to port.

The submarine can carry a mix of as many as 38 Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes and Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, according to the ministry.