Towed to Gibraltar
A good tow dit submitted by Rob Dick - a back aft EA
With reference to the 'On Tow' feature on the website. This wasn't the first time Dreadnought had to be towed. During his time on the Dreadnought an incident occurred whereby Dreadnought had to be towed back in to Gib. Briefly, Dreadnought had deployed from Faslane to Gib and then was due to visit Lisbon. Rob had been sent on leave prior to her sailing from Faslane and was due to rejoin Dreadnought in Lisbon. Towards the end of his leave period , he received a call at home from some office in Devonport telling him his flight arrangements had been changed and was to rejoin Dreadnought in Gib. As you can imagine, he was not a happy bunny.
Rob was looking forward to a run in Lisbon but it turned out that during Dreadnought's transit from Gib to Lisbon the reactor scrammed and couldn't be restarted due to system failures. Along with that, the standby diesel generator couldn't be started due to mechanical failure and the EPM wouldn't start! Dreadnought was adrift in the busy sea lanes off Portugal relying on ever decreasing battery power alone, there was talk of abandoning ship! A good day back aft then!
Eventually the Gib guard-boat came to the rescue and towed Dreadnought back in to Gib. On top of all this, during the transit from Gib to Lisbon, the cartoonist Bill Tidy was onboard - although at the time he was restricted in what he could say, he does give this incident a brief mention in his autobiography entitled "Is There Any News Of The Iceberg" ! Bill Tidy was victualed in to the wardroom for the trip but apparently preferred to spend his time in the SR's mess! ( He knew he was onto a good thing!) Bill Tidy produced lots of cartoons during that trip so maybe someone out there may have some?? Apparently, this isn't the only occurrence of a celebrity onboard Dreadnought during Rob Dick's time onboard. He's unable to recall exactly when, but the BBC wanted to do a feature on RN submarines for the then lunchtime BBC show "Pebble Mill at One" As far as Rob can recall, it was arranged that Dreadnought was to be filmed as she came off a deployment back in to Faslane and the "Pebble Mill at One" team would come down the boat the following day, a Sunday as he recalls. There was no W/E leave for those victualed inboard, everyone was required onboard that Sunday, which went down well! The BBC team consisted of presenters Donny McLeod and Marian Foster along with singer Lynn Paul.
It became known that Rob was a "townie" of Lynn Paul and was therefore nominated to do the "meet and greet" with her - good idea he thought as long as he didn't have to do a duet with her. The mess was crowded and the CSB was flowing when they came into the mess but before he got to do his "meet and greet" , rumour has it that someone tweaked one of the ladies on the rear causing a "diplomatic incident". This cut short the celebrations but whoever did the tweaking was made to apologise - allegedly!
Dates and times are a wee bit hazy now but our thanks to Rob Dick, ex back aft EA. for the dit.
2nd August 2017