Stricken ferry freed by Royal Navy minehunter divers

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A GOOD deed by the divers of minehunter HMS Brocklesby netted them a £2,000 donation for a top naval charity.

The dive team from the Portsmouth-based ship cut away some rope which tangled around the propeller of the Ben-My-Chree, preventing the ferry leaving the Isle of Man.

While the divers were at work getting rid of 
the obstruction, generous ferry passengers had a whip-round.

The ferry’s operators, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, matched the £1,000 raised by those on board, with the collection going to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines charity.

‘It was a great feeling to get appreciation from the public,’ said Able Seaman (Diver) Dan Box.

‘We were glad we could help. We were just in the right place at the right 

HMS Brocklesby had been visiting the Isle of Man to support the opening of the Tynwald, the world’s oldest parliament.

The minehunter was berthed along from the ferry port, and when the skipper of the Ben-My-Chree found his propeller fouled, he asked Lieutenant Commander Stuart Yates for help from the ship’s dive team.

Petty Officer (Diver) Darren Lewis, Leading Diver Martin Platts and Able Seaman (Divers) Dan Box and Tom Davies were soon in the water and could clearly see 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.

That saw them free the prop which enabled 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 

HMS Brocklesby is one of eight Hunt-class Mine Countermeasures Vessels.

The third ship to bear the name, she won her most recent battle honours clearing sea lanes in Umm Qasr in Iraq during Operation Telic in 2003.