Dives on World War Two wrecks

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The speaker at the recent meeting of Kirriemuir Probus Club was Chris Upton.

When posted to the Army Apprentice College in Harrogate, he found that part of his remit was officer-in-charge of sub-aqua activities, although he had no previous experience.

Soon developing an interest, he continued to be involved for the remainder of his time in the forces.

Chris was chosen to be part of Operation Battle Ensign, an expedition to dive on the World War Two wrecks HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales.

Part of Task Force Z, a woefully under-equipped fleet formed to counter the Japanese threat, they were sunk in the South China Sea in December 1941 with the loss of many lives, and are classed as war graves. The remote location, the wrecks lying around 60 metres deep, strong currents and the presence of sharks made conditions particularly hazardous. On one dive problems resulted in Chris and his dive buddy surfacing several miles from the support vessel; thankfully the crew were alert to the situation and quickly rescued them. Jim Smith proposed thanks. Next meeting is May 6 when Eric Summers will talk on Churchill - 75 Years on.