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Anorak | Why Ryan Donovan Did It: Heroic Royston Smith And HMS Astute (Photos)

Why Ryan Donovan Did It: Heroic Royston Smith And HMS Astute (Photos)

by | 9th, April 2011

A SAILOR named  Ryan Donovan, 22, has, allegedly, shot and killed Ian Molyneux on HMS Astute, a nuclear submarine based at the Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde and docked in Southampton. (It’s the sub once defeated by sand.) Another man, Chris Hodge, has been shot and is badly injured.

The shooting makes the front pages:

“Bloodbath aboard Clyde sub as officer shots dead” – The Scotsman (front page)

“Two Navy officers shot by guard on Scots sub” – The Herald (front page)

“Sailor shot dead on British nuclear sub” – Daily Express (front page)

“Sailor in gun attack – Shot dead on Nuke Sub” – The Sun (front page)

“Maniac shoots sailors on nuclear sub” – Daily Mirror

The BBC leads with the hero of the hour, the modest Royston Smith, leader of Southampton City Council and former serviceman with the RAF. He was onboard the vessel as part of a civic party.

The BBC let’s us imagine how worse it might have been:

Eleven children were on the quayside at the time of the shooting, at about 1210 BST on Friday, and were due to board the submarine.

Says Mr Smith:

“There was a lot of blood, it really wasn’t nice – I thought he was going to kill all of us.”

He acted:

“We were in the control room when someone entered and there was an exchange of words. He [the gunman] stepped out with another man and two shots were fired and then he entered the control room again and began shooting again. It was a very small, confined space – we would struggle not to be in the line of fire. He had a magazine with 30 rounds in it so I took the view that someone had to stop him. At some point I decided that the best form of defence was to try to disarm him. I guess I’m lucky he did not hit me. He fired again while I had hold of the weapon. I had a strange feeling. I was not sure if I’d been hit – it didn’t hurt – but I wasn’t thankfully.

“I pushed him against the wall and we wrestled, then I pushed him into another wall which resulted in him going to the ground and I managed to get the weapon from him and threw it aside under a table. I shouted for someone to help as I held him down and my chief executive was the first to come, and he did a remarkable job of restraining him. After a minute or two he became compliant. He was thrashing around and was not going to give up easily.”

He adds:

“I think about the families as they have had the worst news possible.”

The Sun says donovan fired six rounds.

why did he do it – allegedly? The Sun:

Able Seaman Ryan Donovan, 22 – “furious” at being ordered to do back-to-back tours – was halted by a heroic civilian visitor in Southampton.

The Times (via the Mail):

Reports also claimed the rating snapped after he was told he could not use a toilet because visiting dignitaries should go first, The Times reported.

And the kids? The Mirror says:

The children, from a local secondary school, were said to have been “fully aware” of what happened and left the scene shortly afterwards.

In the Mail, this becomes:

Schoolchildren – aged 14 to 16 and on a visit to the vessel in Southampton Docks – ran for cover when the shooting broke out.

What’s life like on the sub? Martin Williams tells Herald readers:
IT’S a cramped and monotonous lifestyle on HMS Astute, but they are conditions all submariners are trained to deal with.

One civilian who has spent a day on the Astute described how crew are only entitled to receive one 40-character message from home every week.

He says conditions for the crew are “rather cramped but very well-equipped”. Stairs and corridors are narrow, ceilings are low and bunk areas that are the size of a reasonable double bedroom sleep up to 18 seamen.

Life On The Boat:

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A SAILOR named Ryan Donovan, 22, has, allegedly, shot and killed Ian Molyneux on HMS Astute, a nuclear submarine based at the Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde and docked in Southampton. (It’s the sub once defeated by sand.) Another man, Chris Hodge, has been shot and is badly injured.





Posted: 9th, April 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink