HMS Hecate's role in discovery of Titanic wreck

HMS Hecate's role in discovery of Titanic wreck

I read with interest on this site regarding HMS Hecate's apparent role in the discovery of Titanic in 1977.

Actually this is a mistake.

I served on board HMS HECATE between 1980 and 1982.

In January 1980, HMS Hecate did a tour of the West Indies, going via the Azores. I was on board at the time as a leading Medical Assistant.

I can verify that HMS Hecate found the Titanic following soundings taken from the PDR Precision Depth Recorder on the Bridge, at some time between January and April 1980.

I cannot remember precisely the date, because I wasn't really interested in the fact that we had passed right over the wreck of the Titanic, but I do remember the Captain, who was Commander Gobey RN sending out a 'tannoy' to the ship's company that we had just passed over the site of the Titanic, and that despite something about not being in the same location as originally thought, it was practically confirmed that a wreck lay a mile or so below HMS Hecate at that time. I remember that all of the ship's company had to do PDR duties on the bridge for 2 hours every 2 or 3 days, and I happened to be on the bridge doing the PDR thing when Titanic was found.

As I said, it was of no interest to me, and it wasn't until I read an article here, that Hecate had found the Titanic in 1977. It was definately, without any doubt 1980.

My guess is that someone in authority on Hecate probably let it slip about the Titanic's real location. Funny, I also remember that we were not allowed to mention the fact of the discovery, of which I completely forgot about the day after.

I remember however writing a letter to my girlfriend, mentioning the fact that we had passed over the Titanic. Can't find the letter now, as my girlfriend is now my wife of 25 years.


I swear that what I have said here is absolutely true. Somebody somewhere got their date wrong...1980 not 1977.

Regards to all, hope you found that interesting!

John Bibby


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