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The OOW and the lookout on the Ferry did a brilliant job of spotting and avoiding the sub's periscope - that was a VERY close call!

I was 2/0 on the Larne to Cairnryan Ferries for a couple of years and saw quite a few periscopes (euphemism not intended) in the exercise area, which I believe was well known.

I am surprised that the RN got it so wrong in this case, as I was always told that the periscope optics on the later submarines were of fantastic quality and hence able to measure accurately and that the operator 'could read a newspaper from 5 miles away'.

Regards, Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well, look at page 3 of the Sun anyway. Didn't think matelots could read , bit like the para grunts, but yes take your point Mike. A normal cargo ship would only have the duty Mate on the bridge, looking after radar, position and lookout duties but a submarine has probably got alsorts of fancy gear, Asdics, hydrophones and other hush hush toys to play with with a rating on each one. Where they all asleep or was it a test.
Perhaps it should have been left hand down a bit coming out of Barrow, but was facing wrong way when he told the helsman.
 

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Way back when in the JFK era. When the USA paid for the European US military bases' electric bills. With shiploads of Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, coal. US Navy sub folks would come around between voyages to check our logs and verify.

While sailing across the Atlantic pond, each US flag coal ship flew flags signifying the ships call sign, 24/7 atop the wheel house; lighted during hours of darkness. The subs practiced sinking us.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The US use destroyers now to ram friendly ships.
Similar scenario as above but that sub didn't hit the ferry.
No doubt somebody will be on the Admirals carpet.
You just cannot get the staff these days.
Radar assisted collisions comes to mind, almost.
To use AIS to see surface ships you would not be stealthy.
 

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I see the RN have adopted the three watch system. Breakfasttime, Lunchtime and ?. The report must contravene the official secrets act as it reveals that luncheon in the RN is taken after 1130. All the Russkies need to know now is if the third watch is Teatime, Dinnertime or Suppertime and the precise schedule of Smokoes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Akin to a 'radar assisted collision', just another gadjet that they don't know how to use.
Perhaps RN Deck officers should spend time with the Professionals of our limited MN to learn the ropes correctly, such as keeping a good lookout , observing Rules of the Road @SEA and what to do in tricky situations, or how not to get in them in the first place.

This is our 'Senior Service' that nearly went up in smoke, 'Our Deterent' , almost scoring home goals in peace time.

What is this country coming to?

Anybody who reads books of the Nelson era, will know that the sailing ships had Masters and mates (often ex Merchant Navy) to sail the ship and navigate while the RN officers fought the ship firing the guns and tactics.

I don't suppose History of Art, Management, Sports Therapy and Media Studies degrees that these RN types take cover any maritime subjects that may be usefull.

If it had been the Ferry's fault, the OM and OOW would have been dragged off by the BOT and pillored by the press.

A ship full of passengers with cameras at the ready and a willing newspaper to give a financial reward, or even straight onto social media.
 

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I have been worried about our nuclear deterrent ever since sailing with an exRN artificer who had served on the subs. No problem with his own abilities, but when he had a few Tennants under his belt he would share stories that had the rest of us sh....ng ourselves.
 

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"when he had a few Tennants under his belt he would share stories that had the rest of us sh....ng ourselves."

Having been brought up in Barrow.......

I can confirm.
 

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When FOST was at Portland and there was a cross channel ferry service running out of Weymouth near misses were a part of everyday life particularly during the so called Thursday war.
The vast majority were never officially reported, just mentioned in passing during an end of day cuppa or whatever.
These were not just Royal Navy ships, there were Germans and Dutch etc - Any Navy using the facilities for work-up.

I saw it myself. On one particular occasion a German frigate was crossing our path and completely ignoring all attempts to hail it. Itwas on a direct collision course. I was able to put a name to the ship and it was then hailed using the name. The only 'answer' was a sudden increase in speed to pass safely across our bows.

Now that FOST is further down I would guess that somewhere in the English Channel such incidents continue unreported to this day.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Obviously FOST wasn't doing his job.

Sea training, its the Navy isn't it, what other training do they need?
Jobs for the boys.
Nothing wrong with putting midshipmen with the bosun and his lads , chipping, painting, soogying, ropework, then on the bridge with the Choff, taking nears and fars and being jnr watch keeper. By the time a cadet is promoted to 3rd Mate he has had enough training and experience to stand a watch on his own with the OM keeping a weather eye open on the 8/12 watch.
The Choff is our FOST on every ship, bit like the Cmdr on a large warship.
Some companies might have a Training Officer to Mother the cadets whilst at College, but thats it.

A friend of mine after spending most of his time until he got Masters on Ocean going ships, then transferred to Stevie Clarkes on coastal runs, said he learnt more about ship handling, all your seamanship stuff , cargo operations on them than deep sea, as you were in and out of port every few days, in busy shipping lanes etc.
Put the RN types on secondment to the MN to learn their trade.
 

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Given their record, I don't understand why RN subs still permitted to proceed submerged in areas busy with commercial shipping.
 

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But in three 'dimensions'. "Left hand out a bit"?

Not that I believe the instruments were as inaccurate as the report states.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes Rogd. Ooo Narsty!

I would aggree with you Varley, more like Human Error, but too easy to blame ' computers', but who programs computers and who presses the keys, humans.
Yet it was human who avoided it by quick thinking and ingrained training, not a collision avoidance system that wouldn't even pick up a stealth periscope amongst the clutter of the waves.
And I' m just a ginger beer.

Equipment is only as good as the nut behind the wheel.

How many times have you been told when dealing with Banks, businesses,etc

" It must be a computer fault" " Thats what the computer did".

I had a certified 3rd call me up one night just after dinner when the OM was buying the Liqueurs for after dinner coffee, " Sec, I just got a piston return temperature come up on the console of ( say 300°) ."
Me, "Have you checked along the crankcase doors and local thermometers?"
3rd. " No"
Me" I suggest you do, then call me".
He never did, nor even mention it when he came off watch.

What ever the normal temperature was, the alarm was way too high and there would have been an automated slow down well before that temp was reached.
These were the early UMS ships late 70's technology and we were on watches for some reason at the time, maybe first night out or something.
We always gave it 24 hours on watches after terminal ports or new staff, to make sure its settled down.
 

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I travel on the Cairnryan route 2 or 3 times a year.
I'll keep my eyes open for Mr Phillips now!
 
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