Diver’s visit to Gosport’s diving museum

VISIT Left to right: Arthur Smith, and museum guides John Dadd and James Thomson
VISIT Left to right: Arthur Smith, and museum guides John Dadd and James Thomson

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STAFF at Gosport’s diving museum were thrilled to be visited by a former navy salvage diver.

Retired Petty Officer Arthur Smith was a Fleet Salvage Diver and was one of the few survivors of the sinking of HMS Royal Oak.

The ship sank at Scapa Flow, at the centre of the Orkney islands, in 1939 with the loss of 834 men.

The ship was hit by four torpedoes

from German U-boat U47, causing it to capsize and sink while it was at anchor there.

Gosport has long been the home of the diving industry.

The co-inventor of the diving helmet, John Deane, lived in Gosport from 1935 until 1845, during which time he discovered the Mary Rose.

The Diving Museum is staffed entirely by volunteers and is a project of the Historical Diving Society.

The museum opened last year at the No 2 Battery in Stokes Bay Road.

New exhibits were put in place this year including historical diving chambers, an iron man and some diving bells.

There is also an exhibition telling the story of the history of diving and its links with Gosport.

For more information about the museum and its exhibitions visit divingmuseum.co.uk