Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Bob's Bolt finds a new home

by Sail-World correspondent on 27 May 2011
Bob Fisher after the presentation of "Bob’s Bolt" . ..
On Sunday May 20th, as the awards for the Gaffers & Classics Regatta at Lymington were coming to a close, there was a surprise for Bob Fisher.

On a July night in 1988, he was at the wheel of the maxi-rater Drum some three miles due south of the Mull of Kintyre lighthouse in the Outer Clyde. The bowman, who was taking the spinnaker gear from the port side to the starboard side in anticipation of a possible shy spinnaker reach up the east side of the Mull, noticed something odd about 100 yards ahead and shouted back to his skipper: 'Come up NOW!'

Bob turned the wheel and there followed the most awful sounds and jerk, as though Drum had gone hard aground. This was impossible as the echo sounder was giving triple echoes because of the great depth of water, but Bob was aware of a strange movement as the port side 'fence' was torn away. In the darkness he saw nothing until the glow of the stern light picked up what for all the world looked like an Evinrude outboard motor, but it was not attached to the transom of a vessel. Perplexed, he waited until one of the crew remarked: 'Submarine.'

When, after making a 'Pan' call and receiving replies from Clyde Coastguard and the Royal Navy’s diving vessel, HMS Challenger that was anchored on the west side of the Mull, Bob, now in the navigation station with the VHF attempted to call up the submarine, but for 25 minutes there was no reply. This concerned him deeply as at that time it was known that hostile (Russian) submarines were active in the area, and the thought that it could have been one of those who would have had little compunction in completing the job of sinking Drum, the crew waited with some agitation.

Eventually the submarine made contact on VHF and identified itself as HMS Otus, an Oberon class diesel/electric vessel. Details were exchanged and while Otus returned, damaged, to her base at Faslane, Drum with a 40 foot long gash down the port side and a bent shroud roller, continued to race to Crinan. It was there that she was met by a Royal Navy Commander and there was an exchange of views during which it was ascertained that the damage to HMS Otus included the optical (search) periscope, the destruction of the communications dome and the air intake periscope. Little wonder that it had taken the submarine’s commander 25 minutes to make contact through a hand-held VHF.

Later the Royal Navy admitted responsibility, but not liability for the collision and paid Drum’s owner, Arnold Clark, around £40,000 for the repairs to Drum.

That might have been the end of it, but one of the crew of Fisher’s 1896 classic Solent One-Design, Rosenn, had been a member of Otus’s crew well after the collision and knew of the incident, recently saw her in a breaker’s yard in Portsmouth. Explaining that he had served aboard the submarine, he asked if he could have a keepsake and was told to help himself. He found the search periscope cotter pin, took it home and with Rosenn’s co-owner, Barry Dunning, polished the chrome-plated brass pin with an hexagonal head and mounted it on an oak base.

'Bob’s Bolt' was duly presented to Bob by his crew after the regatta to great hilarity and much to the bemusement of the recipient.
upffront 660x82Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Extreme Sailing Series – Oman braced for final day epic with Alinghi
The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins but Morgan and his Oman Air crew were never far behind. The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins in seven races but Morgan Larson and his Oman Air crew were never far behind, finishing every single race on the podium with five second places and two thirds.
Posted today at 6:42 pm
British entries on podium as Clipper Race returns after 11 months
UK entries triumphed to take all three podium places in the toughest edition yet of the longest ocean race on the planet Thousands of spectators lined the River Thames and packed St Katharine Docks to welcome home over 250 crew, representing 44 different nationalities, many of whom have been at sea for eleven months racing between six continents in the only challenge of its kind for amateur sailors.
Posted today at 4:48 pm
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Start video from Boatsontv
Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race, which is used as a feeder for the race fleets to the popular Queensland winter regattas such as Hamilton Island Race Week. He also talks with Scallywag skipper David Witt a few days before the start of the winter classic.
Posted today at 12:17 pm
South Australians early casualties of Land Rover Sydney GC Yacht Race
The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties after both sustained bow damage in separate incidents, joining a NSW yacht that was involved in one of those incidents, all three within the first half hour of the race.
Posted today at 9:20 am
LMAX Exchange wins the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race
LMAX Exchange was confirmed last night as winner of Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. LMAX Exchange, skippered by Frenchman Olivier Cardin, was confirmed last night as winner of the tenth edition of the world’s longest ocean race, the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race.
Posted today at 9:03 am
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Images of supermaxi Scallywag
Sydney photographer Michael Chittenden filed this gallery of images from the start. The supermaxi Scallywag made her ocean racing debut in the CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race which got underway on Sydney harbour on Saturday afternoon. After a tight start the David Witt skippered supermaxi settled into her work and began the chase with her long standing rival, Wild Oats XI.
Posted today at 7:19 am
Edgartown Race Week - Final
It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. The racing started at 11:00. It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. By 11:00, it became a blustery and rainy day. The racing started at 11:00 and I haven’t sailed in that much rain in a while.
Posted today at 6:20 am
Nic Douglass - On the dock and on board with the 'fat bottomed girl'
Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission Adventures of a Sailor Girl, Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission and had chopped 27.5hrs off the trans-Atlantic Race Record for a manually powered monohull. The last time I was waiting for Comanche to arrive after achieving a goal that they had set out to achieve was a very different scene
Posted today at 5:25 am
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Replay coverage of the start
Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start. The fleet got away to a clean start this afternoon in Sydney. The supermaxi, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) led the 177 strong fleet through Sydney Heads, with ScallywagHK, the former Ragamuffin 100 in second place. Commentary bought to you by Bob Killick and Warwick Rooklyn.
Posted today at 4:33 am
SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi apply the pressure in Hamburg
Morgan Larson’s dominant Omani team who go into the clubhouse in first place at the half way stage of the Act. 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ - A sunny day on the River Elbe coupled with a lively breeze saw SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi challenge Oman Air for honours on the second day of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Hamburg, but it’s Morgan Larson’s dominant Omani team who go into the clubhouse in first place at the half way stage of the Act.
Posted today at 2:55 am