HMS Shark (54S)
|Class and type:||S-class submarine|
|Laid down:||12 May 1933|
|Launched:||31 May 1934|
|Commissioned:||31 December 1934|
|Fate:||Sunk on 6 July 1940|
|Length:||208 ft 9 in (63.63 m)|
|Beam:||24 ft (7.3 m)|
|Draught:||10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)|
|Complement:||39 officers and men|
She was surfaced whilst on patrol off Skudesnes, southwest Norway on 5 July 1940, when a seaplane was sighted astern. As the submarine submerged, she was bombed, the explosions causing considerable damage. Without steering gear and the hydroplanes jammed hard to rise, the submarine's bow broached the surface, where she continued to be bombed. Shark began to sink by the stern and all high-pressure air was used to return her to the surface. Once on the surface she attempted to get underway steering on main engines, but was sighted yet again, and attacked. The submarine then tried to fight off the aircraft, succeeding in shooting down a Dornier Do 17.
The No.4 ballast tank was holed, and with more aircraft arriving she had no option but to surrender. At about 0400 hours the next day three German minesweeping trawlers M-1803, M1806 and M-1807 arrived and the British sailors were taken off Shark and put on the trawlers. Shark was taken under tow but had been scuttled prior to the crew leaving and the German trawler crews were forced to frantically cut the hawsers before Shark went down, taking the towing vessels with her, amidst much cheering from the captured British sailors. Shark sank stern first about 25 nautical miles (46 km) west-south-west of Egersund, Norway.
The boat's captain, Lieutenant Commander Peter Buckley, was involved in planning a number of escape attempts from POW camp. ERA W. E. "Wally" Hammond made a number of escape attempts before being held in Oflag IV-C – Colditz. With ERA Don "Tubby" Lister (from the captured submarine HMS Seal) he made a successful escape by campaigning for a transfer from Colditz, arguing that he was not an officer. He was transferred to Lamsdorf prison, escaped from a Breslau work party, and reached England via Switzerland in 1943.
The wreck of the Shark was found by a survey vessel whilst surveying a cable route in April 2008 at a position of 58.7N 4.35E at 251 metres depth. Later the same week the vessel also charted the wreck of HMS Salmon after it appeared on her sonar scan.
A Stoker First Class from the Submarine is buried in Sola Cemeteary near Stavanger. The Sailor – was Stoker First Class E Foster
- Kemp, Paul (1999). The Admiralty Regrets: British Warship Losses of the 20th Century. Sutton Publishing Ltd. p. 123. ISBN 0-7509-1567-6.
- Submarine losses 1904 to present day, RN Submarine Museum, Gosport
- Preston, Antony (2001). The Royal Navy Submarine Service A Centennial History. Conway Maritime Press. p. 115. ISBN 0-85177-891-7.
- Reid, Patrick Robert (1953). The Latter Days at Colditz. London: Hodder and Stoughton
- Royal Naval Museum – Sea Your History: Photo of Hammond and Lister in Switzerland
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.