Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Submariners dig deep to complete special challenge for Great South Run

17 October 2017
A team of submariners from HMS Sultan recently set themselves an extra special engineering challenge to help raise funds for Service charities at the Simplyhealth Great South Run.

Sixteen Marine Engineers from the Defence College of Technical Training’s Defence School of Marine Engineering decided to run the ten mile course around Portsmouth with their very own purpose built submarine to raise money for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and The Royal British Legion.

Using a number of the trade skills they had been taught within the school, the group of Marine Engineering students, who are currently on their Systems Engineering and Management Course, set about the challenge of designing and building the submarine.

Coming in at just under four meters and weighing around 25kg, the wooden and aluminium construction, was built by the students using their very own concepts developed through Computer-Aided-Designs. 

The Great South Run gives us an ideal opportunity to give something back and we’re all really looking forward to getting out there on the day

Sub Lieutenant Jamie Woolass, Marine Engineer Officer (Submariner)

Speaking about the project Sub Lieutenant Sam Wilson said, “The submarine is loosely based on some of those submarines that are around at the moment. It’s mainly hollow with a wooden frame with aluminium cladding on the outside.”

“The original design was about 45KG and as we have gone along we’ve been able to adapt the design and it’s got a lot lighter, we’ve also used a lot of lighter materials which will make it probably about 20-25kg.”

“During our training we have been doing a lot of workshops, involving woodwork, sheet metal work and some welding and we’ve used all of those skills we’ve learnt here at HMS Sultan to help us.”

The run will raise money for both The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, the principal charity of the Royal Navy, which exists to support sailors, marines and their families and the Royal British Legion who help members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families.

Enthusiasm for the project has grown rapidly. Sub Lieutenant Jamie Woolass said, “The original team involved just six people, but as other people heard about the idea and the causes we were running for, they have also given up their free time to help.”

“The Royal British Legion means a lot to everyone involved, we take enormous pride from wearing poppies at remembrance events, and they do a lot of good work for those within the Armed Forces and the Veteran community.

Throughout our careers the RNRMC also make a massive difference and they support us and our families in so many ways.

“The Great South Run gives us an ideal opportunity to give something back and we’re all really looking forward to getting out there on the day.”

The group have set up a just giving page for the event. To make a donation please visit:

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.