Oct. 15 (UPI) — More than 30 crew members on the British Royal Navy’s ballistic-missile submarine HMS Vigilant have tested positive for COVID-19 after a port visit to the United States, multiple sources reported this week.
A U.S. official who spoke to USNI News confirmed a report from the British publication The Sun that the crew of the submarine got sick after violating isolation rules while visiting the Navy Submarine Base at Kings Bay, Ga.
The sailors reportedly traveled to Cocoa Beach, Fla., 200 miles away, and went to bars and strip clubs, although Georgia and Florida both continue to report high rates of infection.
A U.S. Navy spokesman deferred questions on the matter to the Royal Navy, whose spokesman declined to comment, USNI said.
U.S. Navy officials have also not said whether any American sailors were affected by the outbreak.
The Vigilant is one of four British Vanguard-class submarines that serve as part of the Royal Navy’s nuclear deterrent force.
In 2017, the crew of The Vigilant tested positive for drug use while in port at Kings Bay, after they were found to have violated liberty rules.
British and U.S. submarines share a common stockpile of Trident II D5 missiles, which are stored at Kings Bay.