Shark - Marine

Hello Richard how are things with you?

I don't want to tempt providence and mention the weather so I'll skip that formality. I've had a rake through my papers and so far the only photograph I can find relative to my time in the service is one that was taken by Trevor Lintott when we were in the West Indies in February 1954 while aboard HMS TRIUMPH. Some of the crew felt the need to do a bit of big game fishing and attached a large piece of beef to a butcher's hook which was tied to a length of rope and secured to a capstan and lowered into the water. Believe it or not, their optimism was rewarded big time when a passing shark took the bait! After the excitement died down the capstan operator raised the catch, which was not particularly pleased to find itself in that situation and was writhing about with what could only be described as justifiable irritation. When the photographers had finished, the problem of what to do with the poor bloody shark remained. After a quick consultation with the powers that be, a marine appeared with a rifle and sent its soul to heaven or wherever sharks souls go to when they die.

I don't think I've left anything out of this grizzly episode but maybe Trevor can fill any holes if I have forgotten anything. The passage of fifty-two years has perhaps taken the sharpness off my recall.

Gerry Culley

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