THE British navy killed three whales after mistaking them for enemy submarines during the Falklands War, it has been revealed.
Two were killed by torpedoes fired from the anti-submarine frigate HMS Brilliant, and the third was attacked by one of the ship’s helicopters, The Plymouth Herald reports..
The previously undisclosed incidents are taken from the diaries of the ship’s crew, which have been published online by hmsbrilliant.com, a website commemorating the vessel's role in the 1982 war.
One crew member wrote of a “small sonar contact” that prompted the launch of two torpedoes, each of which hit a whale.
He noted drily: “Whale oil sighted by Sea King [helicopter] . . . I think I’ll join Greenpeace.”
Britain's Ministry of Defence said the sonar equipment of the time could be easily confused by whale signals, but that modern-day equipment was far more discerning.