Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wing Air Cadets
2498 (Totton) Sqn sample life below the waves!
On a recent whistle stop visit to Southampton, 2498 (Totton) Squadron were privileged to be offered a tour of the Royal Navy’s Nuclear Submarine HMS Tireless, one of the UK’s Hunter Killer fleet.
HMS Tireless is a Trafalgar Class Nuclear Submarine which is shortly due to be de-commissioned later next year in favour of the new Astute Class Submarines.
Taking along a few cadets from neighbouring 424 (City of Southampton) Squadron, we were given a very in-depth and comprehensive tour of the inside of the Submarine. The tour, led by a crewman who is due to qualify for his Submariner's Dolphin badge in the next few weeks, found us in the nerve centre of the vessel, moving down below decks into the forward weapons compartment where they had 6 Spearfish Torpedoes all racked up ready for deployment.
We visited the sailors' accommodation, the mess, galley, Officers Ward room, sonar suite, escape compartment and finally finishing up in the control room viewing the world through the main periscope. Sadly, but for obvious health & safety reasons we were not allowed to view the nuclear reactor and engine compartments.
Flt Lt Gary Harding, OC 2498 Sqn, commented “It is very surprising how much of the Submarine is below the water line. It looks so small from outside on the surface. We entered via the main access hatch which took us down a vertical ladder to just below water level, then as our tour progressed we kept descending lower and lower into the vessel. It is so hard to believe how far we actually descended inside the Submarine, it really does resemble a modern day Tardis”
Our Sincere thanks to Commander Hywel Griffiths and his crew for their hospitality during the exceptional visit.
Story submitted by Flt Lt Gary Harding on behalf of
2498 (Totton) Squadron
Published to website 20 Mar 2012
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