Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Isotak Ocean

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.
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - FloatersAncasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

JJ Giltinan Trophy - More images from a funky Day 1 on Sydney Harbour
More images from Michael Chittenden from the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, Michael Chittenden was on the water for the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, sailed in a funky breeze, leaden skies and plenty of rain. Plus a 300 metre long cruise liner at one end of the course and a waka wall at the other
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Video of Conrad Colman finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race, which he completed under jury rig after being dismasted 700nm from the finish. In Foresight Natural Energy Colman became the first New Zealand sailor to complete the Vendee Globe, he also became the first in eight editions of the race to sail the entire race using only renewable energy sources.
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Heerema delayed by Biscay lows
With 16 boats now finished, eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. With 16 boats now finished, the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. Until now it was the 2000-2001 edition, with 24 starters and 15 finishers, which saw the biggest number of starters reach the end of their race at the legendary South Nouch buoy.
Posted on 25 Feb
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season with major victory at RORC C600
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season off with major victory at RORC Caribbean 600 Bella Mente Racing, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, launched its 2017 campaign season with a major victory this week, winning IRC Overall, CSA Overall and CSA 1 at the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua; The team took home coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the IRC win as well as the Bella Mente Trophy, the team’s namesake award, for being first IRC yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered.
Posted on 25 Feb
Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted on 25 Feb
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted on 25 Feb
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 1
Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain Replay of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain
Posted on 25 Feb
Hat-trick all around for Phaedo^3 in this year Caribbean 600
Lloyd Thornburg and crew of Phaedo^3 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class. Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his MOD70 Phaedo^3 for the last three editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class.
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman's thoughts on his incredible performance
Colman was the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels After finishing 16th in the Vendee Globe, crossing the finish line under the jury rig which had carried him the final 720 miles of his race since he was dismasted, Conrad Colman was greeted by a hero's welcome into Les Sables d'Olone. The first New Zealander to complete the race he was also the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels.
Posted on 24 Feb
More winners announced in RORC Caribbean 600
As dawn broke on day five, crews who had finished the race were beginning to arrive back in Antigua. At Dawn on the fifth day, the leading Class40s were approaching the finish. Throughout the race, the battle in the class had been intense, with three yachts taking the lead at various points along the course.
Posted on 24 Feb