She was a member of the first British A-class of submarines, although slightly bigger than the lead boat, HMS A1. She was built at Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness and was commissioned on 13 July 1904.
Left Portsmouth Harbour at 09.30 with several other ‘A’ & ‘C’ class submarines for exercises off Bembridge, Isle of Wight. The exercises had been in progress several hours when A-3 blew her tanks and surfaced directly in the path of the torpedo gunboat the 1070 ton HMS HAZARD. With a large hole torn in her side the A-3 sank to the seabed out of control drowning all 14 crew. She was raised five week later and moved into St Helen’s Bay, IOW. On the 12/03/1912 she was taken to Portsmouth and having been pumped out all 14 bodies were removed for burial at the Royal Naval Cemetery.
Ref. Beneath the Waves by A. S. Evan, 1986, p27 – 29.
Ships of the Royal Navy: Vol. 1 p19.
Day of Loss: 6
Month of Loss: 2
Year of Loss: 1912
Longitude: 50 31.41N
Latitude: 02 11.25W