On one January night in 1968 the submarine HMS Alliance, heading back to Gosport in company with another boat ended up on Bembridge ledge. The cause of the accident was a mystery since it was a clear night with good visability. It has since become known that the more distant of two navigation buoys, with flashing lights, had been recently refueled whereas the nearer Bembridge Ledge buoy was low on fuel. Consequently the light of the further buoy was brighter than the nearer, and due to the clarity of the winter air, the navigating officer confused the two and took the wrong line.
She was aground for several days and became a tourist attraction until she was refloated and returned to Gosport under escort. It is told that the Bembridge lifeboat coxswain at the time, Peter Smith, asked the submarine commanding officer, what he intended to do next. The submariner replied that his intention was "to take up farming".
HMS Alliance is now in dry dock in Gosport and can be visited, as she is part of the Royal Navy's Submarine Museum.

HMS ALLIANCE

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