Oxford URNU visits NATO Submarine Rescue System

During a recent Oxford URNU deployment the Officer Cadets (OCdts) were given the rare privilege of visiting the NATO Submarine Rescue System based at Faslane.

Prior to joining the ship at HM Naval Base Clyde the OCdts were given an in depth look at how the world leading NATO Submarine Rescue System operates and were fortunate enough to meet the people who work on the system.

The day began with an interesting presentation on how the various parts of the system come together to perform a submarine rescue and the intricacies of such a mammoth operation.

The presentation was given by the project manager, Mr Piers Barker, representing the company that runs the system on behalf of NATO and thus, it was filled with a plethora of interesting facts and statistics that would leave the uninitiated in awe.

Upon completion of the fascinating presentation the OCdts were given the honour of meeting Tom, the senior operator of the submersible vehicle that physically rescues stricken submariners on the sea bed.

The visit was a fascinating insight into the submariner world

Lieutenant Will Jones RN, Commanding Officer of the Oxford URNU

Tom is somewhat of a celebrity in the submarine world and has forgotten more than most even know, yet it was his humility, charm and great Glaswegian wit that made the tour something for the OCdts to truly remember.

OCdt Ben Roberts said “After visiting all areas of the NATO Submarine Rescue System, the OCdts left the facility with a library of incredible stories but most importantly a real sense of respect for what the operators of this incredible system do for all submariners across the world.”

Lieutenant Will Jones RN, Commanding Officer of the Oxford URNU said, “The visit was a fascinating insight into the submariner world and the amount of intricate co-ordination of manpower and equipment required to mount a rescue operation is extremely impressive”.

Oxford is one of 15 URNUs located across the UK offering opportunities to 750 undergraduates from the country’s leading universities.

The URNU aims to broaden understanding of the Royal Navy among university students. It offers students who show leadership potential the chance to develop these skills through maritime experience and exposure to the Royal Navy’s values and ethos.

The URNU is a chance to experience military life without commitment and gain new skills applicable to all walks of life.