Author Topic: SAS Training Exercise 1988  (Read 1080 times)

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Offline Steve Barnett

SAS Training Exercise 1988
« on: Jul 28, 2022, 09:41 AM »
In 1988 I was sailing from Southampton  to Bremerhaven in Germany for works to be carried out in dry dock. There was only workers on board and during the crossing there was an SAS exercise presumably to prevent the ship from being taken over by terrorists. It was an experience I will never forget. I wonder if anyone else shared this experience.
« Last Edit: Jul 30, 2022, 04:28 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: SAS Training Exercise
« Reply #1 on: Jul 28, 2022, 09:56 AM »
In 1988 I was sailing from Southampton  to Bremanharven in Germany for works to be carried out in dry dock. There was only workers on board and during the crossing there was an SAS exercise presumably to prevent the ship from being taken over by terrorists. It was an experience I will never forget. I wonder if anyone else shared this experience.

Thanks for posting Steve. This sounds like an unforgettable experience, I wonder if any of our members were onboard the ship and can post more memories. 

Were crew asked to take part in the exercise e.g. taking on the role as passengers
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: SAS Training Exercise
« Reply #2 on: Jul 28, 2022, 11:08 AM »
Welcome Steve! What an amazing experience that must have been.

Were are you working on board yourself at this time? Did you have your own cabin, and did you get some food on board?

Offline Steve Barnett

Re: SAS Training Exercise
« Reply #3 on: Jul 28, 2022, 12:51 PM »
We was asked to go to different locations. I went to the lido and due to the windows had a panoramic view of the stern. Although I was unaware of what was going to happen.

Offline Steve Barnett

Re: SAS Training Exercise
« Reply #4 on: Jul 28, 2022, 12:55 PM »
On this occasion I did not have a cabin but I was working on the cathodic protection while in dry dock.  On 3 other occasions I had a cabin and officer status therefore could eat with the officers.

Online cunardqueen

Re: SAS Training Exercise
« Reply #5 on: Jul 28, 2022, 08:25 PM »
Who would have thought to plan such an exercise on such a trip ?
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Steve Barnett

Re: SAS Training Exercise
« Reply #6 on: Jul 29, 2022, 07:17 PM »
It was an ideal time. No passengers, very little crew and just a few contractors on board.

Offline Andy Holloway

Re: SAS Training Exercise
« Reply #7 on: Jul 29, 2022, 11:10 PM »
QM2 did a similar exercise on her way back to S'ton after her third shake down cruise in Jan 2004, she was between Poole and Isle of Wight at the time, which  alludes to the bulk of the participants!
It was an air & sea, uncontested assault, both being very difficult and highly risky.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: SAS Training Exercise
« Reply #8 on: Jul 30, 2022, 03:12 PM »
It was an ideal time. No passengers, very little crew and just a few contractors on board.

What exactly did you see them doing, Steve? Were they very disruptive on board?

Offline Steve Barnett

Re: SAS Training Exercise
« Reply #9 on: Jul 30, 2022, 03:53 PM »
No not at all. First we noticed 6 helicopters flying in from the stern. 2 went over the top of us. 2 went to the side and 2 came straight at the lido where we where. As they stopped ropes dropped and men with masks and guns came dow. Almost instantly the door burst open and we heard shouts of lay on the ground and keep your heads down. The force we felt when they entered was incredible.  So powerful. After a  few minutes we heard on the tango that we could return to our stations and we can collect our cameras when we reach our destination.  I never see the SAS depart and can only assume the departed the QE2 when we arrived in Germany.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: SAS Training Exercise
« Reply #10 on: Jul 30, 2022, 04:27 PM »
No not at all. First we noticed 6 helicopters flying in from the stern. 2 went over the top of us. 2 went to the side and 2 came straight at the lido where we where. As they stopped ropes dropped and men with masks and guns came dow. Almost instantly the door burst open and we heard shouts of lay on the ground and keep your heads down. The force we felt when they entered was incredible.  So powerful. After a  few minutes we heard on the tango that we could return to our stations and we can collect our cameras when we reach our destination.  I never see the SAS depart and can only assume the departed the QE2 when we arrived in Germany.

It must have been quite terrifying at the time! You could not possibly have known who they were, and what they were going to do on board...