Rorqual (S02)

Built By: Vickers (Barrow)
Build Group: P2
Fate: March 1977 sold for scrap to Davies and Cann Ltd. Left under tow on May 5th 1977 for Plymouth.

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She was built by the Vickers shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. The boat was named for both the Rorqual whale and the earlier Second World War-era submarine of the same name.

In 1958, Rorqual experienced a fire.

In 1963, she was caught in a trawler's net.

In 1966, Rorqual was off the coast of Mozambique en route to Singapore whan an explosion killed two crew members and injured twenty.

In 1969, Rorqual rammed a moored minesweeper, USS Endurance (MSO-435) while docking at River Point pier in Subic Bay, Philippines. The collision punched a large hole in Endurance's hull but did not damage Rorqual. At the time of the incident, Rorqual was commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Gavin Menzies who retired the following year and later published the controversial book 1421: The Year China Discovered America.

In 1973, Rorqual won the SOCA Efficiency trophy.


15-01-1955 : Laid Down
05-12-1956 : Launched
24-10-1958 : Completed


Served on this broken down death trap from 1973 to 1974. Too many break downs when dived and when surfaced. The scars of the poor sole that lost his life when the lub oil separator disintegrated were still on the engine room door.
What was outstanding was the comraderey oh how I miss it 40 years on.
God bless to all who serve in the dangerous world of submarines past and present.
   Andy Anderson Wed, 16 Oct 2019
I was on Rorqual from 66 - 68 and can assure you that when we had the separator explosion, apart from the 2 who were killed, there were NOT 20 injured.
   Peter Moore Mon, 22 Jun 2020

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