Tag Archives: Plymouth

UK – Look inside a nuclear submarine during dockyard open days

HMS Courageous

HMS Courageous

THE GENERAL public will have the chance to see inside a nuclear submarine during two dockyard open days.

Devonport naval base will throw open its doors this Sunday from 10am to 5pm and on May 26 during the same hours.

Commodore Graeme Little, the commanding officer of the base, has agreed to the base being opened to the public in support of Plymouth’s History Festival.

The days are being run by Friend and Volunteers of Devonport Naval Heritage Centre.

As well as having a tour of a decommissioned submarine, HMS Courageous, the public can also visit the model ship gallery, take a look at the ships figureheads, visit the police museum, look around Gilroy House (the former home of the senior police officer) and enjoy fascinating talks throughout the day.

One of the talks will be given by Peter Holt form the SHIPS (Shipwrecks and History In Plymouth Sound) project.

Bob Cook, from the naval museum, said: “Everyone is welcome to come along. HMS Courageous is set out for visitors but you have to be fit enough to go in and out of the tubes, like going down a manhole, so as long as you don’t have a heart condition, vertico, claustrophobia or are heavily pregnant, you’re more than welcome – but wear trousers.

“We will have a formal opening by the Lord Mayor and we are hoping the commodore will come along too.”

A programme of events will be available on both days to boost museum funds.

Anyone going should head to the Naval Base Heritage Museum off Granby Way (postcode PL1 4HG). Car parking is available.

For more details contact 01752 554200


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UK Diesel Boat Reunion -Plymouth (August)

Dolphins

Gentlemen

The next Diesel Boat Reunion will be held at the normal venue on the normal date as per usual. Basically, at the Oakvilla Social Club, Weston Mill ( PL2 2EL ) which is behind Camel Head Fire Station on Saturday 2nd August starting at about 1200 ish.

Anyone requiring the buffet, it will be, as usual £5.00 to be with me by the 28th of July at the very latest please. If you could send a cheque for the £5.00 to Mr MW PITKEATHLY, The Courageous Exhibit Office, N193, HM Naval Base, Devonport Dockyard, PLYMOUTH,PL2 2BG. Unfortunately, this will be non refundable. Some of you have gone really modern and no longer have a cheque book, this is now not a problem, so if you could email me first, I will give you the bank details.

Can you please get the word around to the very few that are not on email and maybe interested in coming along to the DBR please.

At the last reunion in 2013, I asked for a volunteer to take over in case I ended up having a stroke/heart attack/dead etc. I am very pleased that Pat Langdon(Fireman Pat) from Exeter has taken up the mantle. We have set up a joint bank account with the Natwest that we can both access, which we feel is ideal and he has access to the dieselboatreunion@hotmail.co.uk email account should I be indisposed or even dead.

Just prior to the last reunion I asked for ex pusser S/M items, so that it could be utilised on HMS Courageous. I would like to thank Pincher Martin for a green sleeping bag and Rodney Hodge for a Pusser’s case full of old kit and bits, much appreciated from both of you thanks.

A message from Ken Woods. If you are in Plymouth for a long weekend, the Plymouth Hoe Club, 1 Osbourne Place, Lockyer Street  tel no: 01752 311512 welcomes all submariners.  If you are staying locally for the weekend it’s a popular watering hole for shipmates and a place to meet up before the big day!

I trust that you are all well and look forward to seeing you at the 2014 DBR

Kind regards

Pat Langdon and Pitt.k (former naval person) 

UK – Submarine business fined after hand crush

A submarine maintenance company has been fined after a labourer crushed his hand while working on a submarine refit project at Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth.

The 19 year-old worker had to have plates inserted to repair broken bones after his right hand was drawn into the rotating bar of a drum rolling machine while working for Thales Underwater Systems on 22 April 2012.

Plymouth Crown Court heard that the labourer had been working on the exterior of a submarine prior to the incident. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Thales Underwater Systems did not conduct any risk assessments in relation to the operation of the machine.

Thales Underwater Systems, of The Bourne Business Park in Addlestone, Surrey, was fined a total of £50,000 and ordered to pay £15,236 in costs after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

“This incident could have been prevented had the guard not be removed from the drum roller,” said HSE inspector Georgina Speake. “Thales Underwater Systems clearly failed to ensure the safety of its employees, with painful consequences for the injured worker.”

Source – InsiderMedia

Former submariner to sign copies of his new book in Plymouth

A FORMER Royal Navy submariner will be signing copies of his new book later  this month.

Ian Franklin, from Newton Ferrers, has said proceeds after costs from the  book, Stand By To Surface, will support a submarine museum exhibit.

HMS Alliance, Mr Franklin’s first submarine, is undergoing a £6million refit  at the RN Submarine Museum.

He will be signing copies of his book based on life aboard HMS Orca in the  60s, between 11am and 1.30pm at Waterstones, New George Street, on March  23.

Source – This is Plymouth

HMS Tireless returns to Plymouth after reactor leak

HMS Tireless

HMS Tireless will undergo repairs in Plymouth

 

The Devon-based submarine HMS Tireless has returned to Plymouth after a leak in its nuclear reactor.

The Royal Navy said the small leak of coolant was contained within the reactor compartment of the Trafalgar-class hunter-killer vessel.

The navy said that the incident “posed no risk to the public, the environment or the crew”.

It added it was not yet known how long the repairs to the 28-year-old vessel would take.

Analysis

Scott Bingham Business reporter, BBC Spotlight


While HMS Tireless has had its fair share of problems, the Royal Navy has been able to keep the boat in sufficient shape to remain part of the UK’s armed forces for nearly 30 years.

The vessel is expected to be decommissioned this year.

The navy openly admits that it and four sister vessels still in service were “designed as Cold War warriors” and are now having to adapt to the demands of the 21st Century.

Any problem with any vessel’s nuclear systems must be treated very seriously, but those systems are completely contained in a sealed compartment.

There are also safety procedures in place to prevent radioactivity from leaking out of the vessel.

This, coupled with the fact the submarine has always come back to its base in a city populated by 250,000 people, shows the service is confident such situations can be kept safely under control.

It is the latest in a series of incidents that have affected the submarine.

In 2007, two mechanics died on board when a self-contained oxygen generator exploded while the vessel was under the North Pole.

The vessel was sailing under an ice pack 170 miles (275km) north of Deadhorse, in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, when the accident happened.

In 2000, a fault was discovered on board which then forced 12 hunter-killer nuclear submarines in the UK’s fleet to undergo intensive inspections.

The submarine became stranded in Gibraltar in May of the same year with a leak in pipe work leading from the nuclear reactor system.

It was there for nearly a year while repairs were carried out, putting a strain on relations with Spain, and drawing criticism from environmentalists.

In May 2003, it was taken to Scotland for repairs prompting a Ministry of Defence inquiry after it collided with an object at sea.

Source – BBC News

Devonport – Nuclear accident at Dockyard “would cause thousands of deaths” campaigners say

  1. HMS Vanguard, one of the Trident-carrying submarines, arriving at Devonport naval base

    HMS Vanguard, one of the Trident-carrying submarines, arriving at Devonport naval base

THE Ministry of Defence has not ruled out the possibility of moving Britain’s nuclear armed submarines to the Devonport naval base, despite safety concerns from campaigners.

The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) asked the MOD whether the fleet of armed Vanguard class submarines carrying Trident missiles could move from its current home in Faslane in Scotland to Devonport.

The response stated that neither the Devonport Naval Base nor the dockyard would safely permit the berthing of an armed Vanguard submarine.

But the campaigners were also told the MOD’s internal safety watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator, “has not provided any advice” on the feasibility of docking a Vanguard class submarine at Devonport.

John Ainslie, co-ordinator of Scottish CND, has drawn up a report looking at the risk of nuclear contamination in Plymouth in the event of a serious accident.

He told The Herald: “If Scotland were to go independent there are questions over what would happen to Trident. I have always been a bit wary about how easy it would be to move them.

“I was thinking they would have real problems basing them at Devonport because of the whole safety issue.

“You have got such a high population close to the submarine base at Devonport, there would be a very serious risk of fatalities and so forth.

“A missile accident at Devonport, in the centre of Plymouth, could result in thousands of deaths.

“In addition, a large proportion of the city would be abandoned for hundreds of years.”

Scotland is due to vote on independence in 2014, and the SNP has stated it hopes to remove Trident missiles from Faslane.

But an MOD spokesman said there are currently no plans to move the submarine fleet.

Ian Ballantyne, editor of Warships magazine, said in the event of Scottish independence Devonport would be the only feasible alternative for the submarines.

“They already spend years of their lives here, they already come and go and get re-fitted at Devonport,” he said.

“If Scotland goes independent and says ‘take your nuclear submarines away’ then they would have to operate from Devonport. “There is no way if we are a nation that operates nuclear submarines they would go anywhere else.”

Source – This is Plymouth