to Tony Mizen Lt 1976-78
& Michael Green PO(MEM) 1975-77
by Tony Mizen
the start of 1977 F172 was in Southampton dry-dock having repairs
done to the main shafts. Apart from the duty watch the crew were
billeted in DAEDALUS and bussed to and from the ship each day.
activities off the south coast before sailing for to join STANAVFORLANT
the stay we had a local bar named after the ship and took part in
various sports competitions with other squadron ships. I also recall
we played rugby against a Den Helder side that comprised mostly
ex-pats working in the Dutch gas & oil industry. Other ships
of the squadron included NNS OSLO, USS MILLER, KOLN, CNS MARGAREE,
NLNS ...... (Flagship), PNS Almirante GIEGO COUTINHO (?)
was closed on Sunday!
run ashore. Well beaten by the local St Pauli district rugby team.
sailing we tagged the Russians who were exercising off North Norway
- got our Blue Nose
of Unst -Shetlands
went ashore to use landline telephone to home. Some conned Chinese
laundryman that there was a large casino on Unst. He was not too
pleased on arriving ashore with his case of money to find just a
postoffice at Haroldswick!!
discovered that 5p pieces could act as German 1 Mark pieces in the
Fjord (at anchor)
took barge for run ashore (sight seeing!!). RN Photographer joined
us to take shots for RN promotion material while we sailed through
deliveries & banking
Beer and Acquivit (schnaps/liquor)
opportunities and Navex in confined waters
'can man', Frank, managed to swap our Watneys light ale (Urgh!!)
for crates of Becks and that the Wardroom managed to get some great
wine off a neighbouring French ship
sea off Lofoten Islands . Disengaged from the squadron so
that we could celebrate Queen's Jubilee day. We held a 'Village
Green' party on the flightdeck that included: tug-o-war, apple bobbing,
fancy dress parade, fancy hat competition, BBQ, and sods opera.
It was freezing on deck but we had plenty to do & drink to keep
us warm. Fancy dress was won two stokers dressed as Robinson Crusoe
and Man Friday while the hat competition was won by the Chief of
the Flight with a hat built like a castle (when he pulled a cord
the queen appeared on a veranda and waved - brilliant).
(at sea) - we passed under the harbour bridge but didn't go alongside
Miller left to be replaced by
Richard E Byrd
|1977 Family Newsletter
planned but Junior Seaman Tingle had suspected appendicitis. Great
Wardroom party with local nurses and trip to 'hole-in-the-wall'
very hot - lots of limers drunk by gangway party. On sailing we
went to do live shoots at Vieques Island and take part in major
exercise with US Fleet. In San Juan played cricket against ex-pats
- played in park opposite the 'Black Angus' house of ill repute.
out engine change (I think it was the Tynes) had lots of banyans
at Virginia Beach. Won the squadron Sports Trophy (included beating
the yanks at Basketball). Went to sing-along at the US Marine base
at Little Creek. Held ships company dance in the NCOs mess at Breezy
Point (in the Norfolk Naval Base) with live band lots to drink and
lots of local nurses etc. On sailing we refuelled and munitioned
at Jamestown before an another large exercise.
tied up at US port while we went alongside in HMS MALABAR. Fantastic
island with great beaches.
Cooks & Stewards took part in exped to Kejimkujik National Park
(bigger than Wales!!).
for home. Half way across Atlantic diverted to RFA ....... to pick
up 21 year old Irish National shipwrecked on single-handed crossing
in dinghy (!). Signal gave name a Edna OKeneen - resulting in ship
smelling like Turkish brothel from aftershave, etc. What a surprise
when the jackstay delivered a man - his name was Enda O’Coineen. After
exercising with submarines off Rockall we went through the
Irsh Sea and on to Plymouth. On 25th September we had up-channel
night with usual Sods Opera, sing-along and plenty of booze. I recall
that we did a 'This is Your Life' for the First Lt., Tom Sunt
"I can remember this episode quite well. It was a bit harry roughers -the date was 20th Sept 1977. Weather: Wind 115 force 9, Sea state 7 (high), Vis 4-5 miles. -(somewhere in the N.Atlantic. (Apparently a civvy airliner had picked up a distress signal and relayed it to the Rescue Co-ordination Centre. In turn, Ambuscade received a signal to assist in the rescue describing an inflatable sinking (about 300 miles west of Ireland, I think). I can’t remember how long it took to get to the scene, but RFA STROMNESS. got there slightly ahead, and plucked the very wet chap and his part deflated inflatable craft from the oggin. A short time after he was transferred to Ambuscade, complete with his kit and boat. The rubber inflatable which can’t have been more than a few metres long was lashed to the quarter deck, and Enda was accommodated in the wardroom (I believe). I spoke to him down at the back end on a couple of occasions, and he seemed quite a decent fellow. On arrival at Devonport a few days later, he was met by the press, and appeared in the national press and TV."
David Marchant and Barry Dixon (RFA Stromness)
Well naturally, the usual cracks of the Irish conducting bizarre activities were heard at the time. This evening I though I would see if I could find anything about this plucky sailor and the search lead me to a couple of books offered by Amazon. This is an extract from the synopsis of his biography, The Unsinkable Entrepreneur:
Once a troubled teenager and eccentric sailor, now an entrepreneur and financier - this is the story of how Enda O'Coineen made millions in the telecommunications and information technology sectors of Central and Eastern Europe. Desperate to get off the dole during the grinding recession of 1980s Ireland, Enda discovered a unique approach that allowed him to begin his first publishing business in the middle of a recession - without any cash whatsoever. He describes how he started commercial ventures, publications and charities in the face of incredible odds and in more than a few amusing situations. Since then he has refined his formula into a distinct business philosophy, applying it over and over again to more than 15 separate enterprises. Now an established financier he presides over his own investment banking company and venture capital firm, Kilcullen Kapital Partners.
Arf arf arf!!! I wonder if he wants to join the association?!!
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