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    Submarine fire: Navy personnel taken ashore

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    National security correspondent

    View more articles from David Wroe

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    Four Navy submariners have been taken ashore after a fire broke out on one of Australia's Collins Class submarines.

    Defence announced in a statement that the crew of HMAS Waller were forced to take "emergency response actions ... to extinguish the fire," which broke out while the submarine was surfaced off the West Australian coast.

    "There were no causalities. As a precaution, four members of the ship’s crew who were involved in the response to the fire have been landed for observation," the statement said.

    Significantly, the statement said the HMAS Waller had "recently completed a scheduled maintenance period".

    The statement gave no explanation for the fire.

    The Collins Class has been beset by maintenance problems, though experts say that after many years of work and upgrades, the submarines are now performing well.

    Defence is working to extend the life of the Collins Class while it waits for the successor fleet of submarines, which won't arrive until at least 2030.

    The statement said a full investigation would be undertaken.

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