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Sunday, 31 August 2014

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Remains of submarine in Barrow dock set to be scrapped

THE remains of a submarine left rusting in Buccleuch Dock in Barrow for eight years will be scrapped.

HMS Onyx, an Oberon class vessel which saw service in the Falklands War, was brought to Barrow in 2006 by businessman Joe Mullen as part of plans to use it as a museum.

Mr Mullen paid £117,000 for the sub after an idea by the Barrow branch of the Submariners Association, led by Terry Spurling, that it could become an interactive centre piece at a submarine heritage centre.

Onyx had been one of a collection of historic naval vessels displayed on Merseyside that lost their homes because of a dockside redevelopment in Birkenhead.

Mr Mullen was forced to sell the vessel after it became apparent he would not be able to secure council funding to develop the scheme.

Onyx was used on secret operations during the conflict with Argentina, including landing special forces, but has now been towed to Swansea where all but the hull will be scrapped.

Mr Spurling, from Holbeck, said: “It’s a sad thing for the town, she was the last remaining Falklands submarine. But in today’s world it is not easy to get money.”

Part of the vessel will be saved after a group of shipping enthusiasts expressed interest in putting the hull on display in Greenock, Scotland, near to where it was assembled. Eleven Oberon-class submarines were built at Scott’s dry dock in Greenock.

Six were for the Royal Australian Navy, three were for the Royal Navy and two were purchased by Chile.

A feasibility study to establish if the plan could go ahead found displaying the whole vessel was not possible.

Mr Spurling said: “They were interested in buying the whole sub but when they got down to the nitty-gritty they realised they couldn’t dredge up the dry dock to get it in.

“It’s good at least part of it will go on display.

“People will still be able to see the torpedo tubes.”

Have your say

Disgrace,we did the same with the last milliom built boat,we let it rot,should have been housed in dock museum,what a missed chance.

Posted by cromwell on 24 April 2014 at 10:12

Hard to believe it was too expensive not have been preserved in some way. What would it have cost simply to mount it on concrete plinths as an object to simply wonder at. A subsequent plan to make it available for access to the public could have been introduced over time as funding became available, but getting out of the water would have been a good first step. What a waste.

Posted by Phil on 23 April 2014 at 20:12

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