Top Tip for Submariners

If you're thinking of going outside, take an aqualung.


A young sailor on a public relations visit to his home town was asked to draw the raffle at a charity lunch. When he announced to a dismayed audience that the winner had won a 'diving suit', the Master of Ceremonies leant over his shoulder and explained that it was pronounced 'divan suite'.


1. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and apologised for holding the meeting on the jetty. This was because Leading Writer Tott had gone on long weekend with the keys for the Admin Building. Apologies were also received from the Secretary for calling the meeting on a Sunday, which was due to February having twenty-nine days. 

2. The Chairman emphasised the importance of this meeting for although the final design of Submarine Pooh had been agreed, the project was not progressing well. 

3. The O-i-C (Desig) of the Royal Naval Pooh School asked if the meeting could address the issue of tidying up the jetty under Any Other Competent Business. The Chairman ruled that this was beyond the scope of the meeting but placed an action on Pooh Auxiliary Services (PAS) to investigate and report at the next meeting. The meeting then adjourned for coffee. 

4. On reconvening, the Chairman apologised for the lack of coffee. This was due to the coffee ladies turning up on Saturday. 

5. The Group then discussed the problem of Pooh supplies. The Admiralty Underwater Pooh Establishment (AUPE) reported that it had carried out an exhaustive study of the problem. Early indications were that it would not be possible to support a Pooh in all compartments of a submarine. The Pooh Design Authority (PDA) said that when a Pooh had been installed, it was essential that it was fed with the correct supply of honey and that anything less would be unacceptable. The Director General Pooh Supplies (DGPS) was confident that enough honey was available in the supply chain but had not seen any formal definition of Pooh consumption nor of how many Poohs would be installed in each submarine. AUPE had understood that there would be plenty of honey available on board but the problem was getting sufficient quantities of it to Poohs in remote compartments, given the small size of Admiralty honey pots. A Pooh, he said, could not be maintained in the Engine Room, for example. Action was placed on DGPS to investigate the size of submarine honey pots.

6. The Chief Pooh Executive (CPE) confirmed that there was no intention to fit Poohs in Engine Rooms. The Chairman asked for written confirmation of that before the next meeting. 

7. The Chairman then asked the meeting to move to the centre of the jetty to allow the crane to pass. AUPE said that, in his view, the meeting had been convened far too close to the crane track and proposed that it be moved to the centre of the tracks before the crane returned. CPE said that this would be impracticable as he was already too close to the rail on the other side. RNPS proposed that under the circumstances, it would be more cost-effective if the meeting extended itself lengthways and formed an oblong between the rails instead of a circular configuration. PAS pointed out that previous experience with oblong configurations showed that people standing upwind could not hear what was being said in the downwind sector. Pooh Trials Unit (PTU) then proposed that a drill should be established in which the person speaking was always in the twelve o'clock position. This could be achieved, he said, by forming a circle and moving the meeting in a clockwise direction until the person speaking was in the upwind position. It was, he added, the principle of the revolver. CPE pointed out that in a revolver, the person in the twelve o'clock position is fired. 

8. The Chairman asked the meeting to move back again to allow the crane to return and placed an action on PAS to pursue it and request that it kept its movements to the northern end of the jetty while the meeting was in progress. In view of this action, there was no further need to discuss the formation of a rotating circle and the matter was concluded. The meeting retained its previous formation. 

9. CPE reported that there was somebody in the water who had not been there before the crane passed and wondered if it could be someone from the meeting. The Chairman considered this unlikely but placed an action on the Secretary to check numbers against the attendance list. 

10. DGPS asked if there was any intention to fit Eeyores in submarines and proposed that if there were, someone else should be responsible. PDA believed that the question of Eeyores was still to be resolved and called for the matter be taken up outside the meeting. AUPE had not been briefed on Eeyores and wondered if it could be an anagram for Eyesore, as he did the Telegraph crossword. 

11. The Secretary reported that he had now completed a head count and the AUPE representative was confirmed missing. The Chairman tasked PAS to check the identity of the swimmer on his return from crane chasing but CPE observed that as PAS had a broken leg, the crane was travelling faster than he and the action should be placed on someone else. In agreeing, the Chairman actioned DGPS to conduct a study.  

12. The final item on the agenda was to set the date for Pooh sea trials but before a decision could be taken, PDA reported that it had begun to snow and requested that the meeting move under the crane for shelter. This was agreed unanimously. 

13. Before opening his closing remarks, the Chairman acknowledged a request from the foreman of the Jetty Party to move the meeting to the other side of the crane to allow access for a sewage tanker, emphasising that this was for an urgent collection and not a delivery.   

14. In closing the meeting, the Chairman thanked everyone for attending, noting that PAS, PDA and DGPS had already left for the airport and that AUPE was still in the water. He asked the Secretary to record his thanks to them via the minutes.

15. The date of the next meeting was set for 1 April. 

D. Fence-Cutts, Secretary


When the Cold War ended, much to our surprise in Faslane, a Russian submarine off St Kilda, signalled a request for the  emergency evacuation of a sailor with appendicitis. Being a relative stranger to casualty evacuation procedures, I immediately consulted the signalling manual and thus discovered Medical Signalese. In this, sentences are abbreviated to five letter groups. For examples:
   FECIN is shorthand for - 'Infectious non cot case.'
   MEDIC means - 'Medical cot case.'
   SURIN means - 'Surgical non cot case.'  
   RAHOS means - 'Request admission to hospital.'  
You will understand therefore that I was surprised when loitering in one of Glasgow's better public lavatories and an inebriated Glaswegian lent over the porcelain partition and whispered confidentially, 'FECIN MEDIC SURIN RAHOS.' 

Realising that this was medical man, I asked him to stop urinating on my shoes and confirm that he was indeed requesting hospital admission for an infectious non cot case, a medical cot case and a surgical non cot case.' 
He looked puzzled and repeated, 'FECIN MEDIC SURIN RAHOS!' 
As we seemed to be having a decryption problem, I said,  'Parliamo Signalese?'
'Naw,' he replied. 'Parliamo Glasgow - the feckin' doctor's in the hoos!' 

Which just goes to prove that not all Glasgow drunks are Naval doctors.