SLEEPING ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA

HMS/M PERSEUS; A SUBMARINE, IS FOUND

a "Cyberheritage" web page

John Capes

the one who got away!...a Great Escape

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In 1941 in the Ionian Sea, the 2,000 ton British "Partheon" class submarine HMS Perseus was sunk by an enemy mine while on patrol at periscope depth. All 60 crew perished save one. That survivor was 31 year old John Capes. Before he escaped he took a swig of rum from a bottle upon entering the escape chamber.

John Capes` story of his deep escape and survival in enemy occupied Greece was not believed by many until Greek divers in 1996 discovered the wreck of the Perseus; 170 feet down and sitting almost upright on the sea bed.........and they found his rum bottle.

Upon escape he swam to Cephalonia and was looked after by the local Resistance for 18 months until he could get to Turkey. John Capes died in the mid 1980`s, the sea never did claim him!

The wreck is now a war grave and the location has not been revealed. The crew sleep in peace. It is melancholy and quite. Almost a "Marie Celeste."

As you look at these photos it is almost in a perfect state, it looks as if it sank just yesterday. I find it hard not to think of the Thetis and Thunderbolt and their crews when I look at these images.

THE STERN

THE HULL, LOOKING AFT FROM REAR OF CONNING TOWER...NOTE OPENED AFT ESCAPE HATCH IN DISTANT HAZE

THE HELM

MUZZLE OF SUBMARINE`S GUN

THE ESCAPE HATCH LEFT OPEN

A DETAIL OF THE CONNING TOWER

VIEW FROM GUN MUZZLE LOOKING AFT TO CONNING TOWER.. NOTE VIEW PORTS IN CONNING TOWER

THE CONNING TOWER LOOMS THROUGH THE VISIBILITY

THAT EMPTY RUM BOTTLE LEFT BEHIND IN AFT ESCAPE HATCH, spot it at bottom of torch beam

JOHN CAPES, THE SOLE SURVIVOR

images c. BBC-TV

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