Daily Archives: June 2, 2014

HMS Tireless returns to Plymouth for the final time before being decommissioned

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • HMS Tireless returning to Devonport Naval Base this evening. Picture by Nick Copson.

  • HMS Tireless returning to Devonport Naval Base this evening. Picture by Nick Copson.

  • HMS Tireless returning to Devonport Naval Base this evening. Picture by Nick Copson.

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • Picture by Helen Pearse

  • HMS Tireless returning to Devonport Naval Base this evening. Picture by Nick Copson.

NUCLEAR-powered Royal Navy submarine HMS Tireless has returned home to Plymouth for the last time.

The service’s longest serving nuclear-powered hunter killer sub is due to be decommissioned after nearly 30 years of service.

The vessel, base ported in Devonport, operated as one of the Cold War “warriors”, a Navy spokesman said.

“Out of sight and mind, she deployed for long, secret and often dangerous missions out into the Atlantic,” he added. “She patrolled for months at a time searching for and stalking her enemies.

“Renowned for her stealth and many successes she enjoys a strong reputation to this day.”

The sub returned home tonight after completing the first deployment by a Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine to Australia in seven years.

HMS Tireless had also been assisting in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

HMS Tireless was launched in 1984 and commissioned a year later.

She surfaced at the North Pole in 1991, 2004 and 2006, and between 2010 and 2011 took part in a 10-month deployment, the longest continuous deployment by a UK nuclear-powered submarine up to that date.

This year she has been on East of Suez deployment, which included her searching for Flight MH370.

Source – Plymouth Herald

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HMS Thetis submarine tragedy: Memorials mark 75 years

Ships join the rescue operation in 1939 Ships join the rescue operation in 1939

The 75th anniversary of the sinking of a submarine with the loss of 99 lives has been marked.

On Sunday wreaths were dropped into the sea off Llandudno to remember the Royal Navy’s worst peacetime tragedy in 1939 involving the HMS Thetis.

A memorial was also unveiled in Birkenhead with the names of all those who died.

An accident happened during sea trials for the new vessel which had sailed from Wirral.

There were 103 men on board on 1 June 1939, twice the usual number, with the Royal Navy crew swelled by engineers from ship builders Cammell Laird.

Due to a combination of unfortunate circumstances, sea water flooded in and the boat nosedived and was unable to resurface.

“Start Quote

After the war ended and the loss of life, it became forgotten about”

End Quote Derek Arnold Son of survivor Walter Arnold

Because the boat was crowded and air in shorter supply, time was of the essence but the rescue operation was hampered by delays and communication problems.

The men were left fighting rising levels of carbon dioxide, 12 miles off the Great Orme.

Derek Arnold’s father Walter was a stoker on board and one of just four survivors.

He was experienced and had been well drilled in what to do during an emergency and eventually escaped through a hatch.

“He was there overnight and was rescued by a ship,” said Mr Arnold.

“What was worse for him personally was how he was treated afterwards.

“He didn’t have his pass book – all their gear was on the submarine – and he wasn’t paid for six months. He relied on help from workers at Cammell Laird and the Salvation Army to put food on the table.”

The wreath-laying by the Llandudno and Moelfre lifeboat crew was at the accident spot.

HMS Thetis
Those who died on the Thetis either drowned or were poisoned

“As lifeboat crew we are all aware of the power of the sea,” said Rod Pace, Moelfre RNLI operations manager.

At 13:40 BST, the exact time the Thetis signalled her intentions to start the trials, both lifeboats lay wreaths to remember the 99 men.

Mr Arnold has been the instigator of the memorial for Birkenhead on the River Walkway.

It carries the details of those lost and the few who survived.

“It happened three months before World War II – the Thetis actually grounded on Anglesey on the day war was declared,” said Mr Arnold.

“So after the war ended and the loss of life, it became forgotten about.

“But there’s been great interest in what happened and I saw them putting the finishing touches to the memorial, and they’ve done a wonderful job.”

Source – BBC News