Above: SAM Kotlin 365 'Bravyy' just after dawn on 9 November 1970.|
These ever present Russian spoilers would often steam across the stern during recovery and across the bows during launches. Later that day this Kotlin cut it too fine, ignored all signals (including 'Uniform' - you are standing into danger) from the Ark , forced the Ark to go full astern (even though by the international rules of the road Ark Royal had right of way). A collision occurred as the Ark Royal's bows struck the Kotlin on her aft quarter. Seven Russian sailors went overboard as the Kotlin was rolled over, with the aft deck house and missile launcher being wrecked. One sailor was picked up by Ark Royal's boats. Another, refusing to be picked up swam back to his ship escorted by Ark Royal's boats. Sadly 2 Russian sailors were lost.