A Royal Navy officer in charge of nuclear weapons was taken off a submarine for turning up drunk with a bag of chicken.
Lt Commander Len Louw alarmed his fellow crew members when he arrived at the HMS Vigilant to take charge of 16 nuclear missiles.
Not only had he been drinking, he was clutching a bag of grilled barbecue meat.
The Lieutenant was taken off the submarine, which was docked in US Navy’s Kings Bay base in Camden County, Georgia, and brought home to its usual base in Faslane, Scotland.
Lt Louw’s role was to look after the missiles, which contain three nuclear warheads each.
They are roughly as powerful as 30 of the bombs which were dropped on Hiroshima.
A source told The Sun : “He was not in a fit state to be in charge of nuclear weapons.
“The person he was taking over from realised something was seriously wrong. They had no choice but to alert the higher ups.”
When Lt Louw, in his 40s, arrived at the £3billion sub his crewmates were about to offload the missile, which he was charged with maintaining.
An investigation into his actions has since been launched.
The incident is the latest scandal to befall the Vanguard-class sub.
Previously a former captain and first mate were removed from the vessel for sleeping with female junior officers.
Nine crew members were sacked for taking Class A drugs.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “Where an individual’s conduct falls short of the high standards we expect, we won’t hesitate to take the appropriate action.”