UK: Divers from HMS Brocklesby Ensure Isle of Man Ferry
Divers from HMS Brocklesby ensured the Isle of Man ferry kept running when they cleared its tangled propeller during a visit to Douglas. The sailors hacked away at rope wrapped around the propeller of the Ben-My-Chree – work which led passengers and the ferry company to donate £2,000 to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
A good turn from the divers of minehunter HMS Brocklesby to help a stuck ferry netted a £2,000 thank-you for the Royal Navy’s principal charity.
The dive team from the Portsmouth-based ship cut away rope tangled around the propeller of the Ben-My-Chree – which prevented the ferry leaving the Isle of Man as planned on its regular Douglas-Heysham run.
And while the divers were at work getting rid of the obstruction, generous passengers had a whip-round – delighted that their sailing had only been slightly delayed, not cancelled.
Ferry operators the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company matched the £1,000 raised by those aboard, with the collection going to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
Brocklesby was in the Isle of Man capital to support the opening of the Tynwald, the world’s oldest parliament.
The minehunter was berthed just along the quay from the ferry port, and when the skipper of the Ben-My-Chree found his propeller fouled, he asked Lt Cdr Stuart Yates for help from the ship’s dive team.
PO(D) Darren Lewis, LD Martin Platts and AB(D)s Dan Box and Tom Davies were soon in the water in their dive boat and could clearly see through the Irish Sea waters the prop and the obstruction.
Dan and Tom entered the water and after 20 minutes of using only their diver’s knives they had managed to cut away enough rope to fill a large wheelie bin, freeing the prop and enabling the Ben-My-Chree to sail.
When the pair returned to the surface they were greeted by the passengers and some of the crew lining the upper deck, clapping and cheering.
“It was a great feeling to get appreciation from the public, we were glad we could help. We were just in the right place at the right time,”said Dan.
The Ben-My-Chree then sailed within 15 minutes of the divers completing their work – ensuring one of the island’s key links with the wider world remained opened.
As the ferry made her way out of harbour, her passengers continued waving and cheering as they passed Brocklesby.
“It was an excellent day’s work which reinforces public support for our nation’s Armed Forces,”said Tom.
Press Release, September 12, 2013; Image: Royal Navy