Deliverance of HMS Seal
One early morning in May 1940, during World War II Cmdr. Rupert
Lonsdale took his submarine HMS Seal on a dangerous mission into
the Kattegat, the strait between Denmark and Sweden, to place
mines in German shipping lanes. They were attacked from the air
and had dived to escape, but while submerged that evening, a
German mine exploded, flooding much of the boat and sending it
to the bottom, a depth of 100 feet, where it became stuck on
The crew had made efforts to free the Seal, which was mired in
mud at an angle, but each attempt failed. the vessel was stricken
on the Sea bed for more than 22 hours, things were desperate
with oxygen supplies and battery power dwindling, they could
hardly expect many more hours to live and some crew were already
starting to become comatose and difficulty staying awake.
Captain Lonsdale was a christian
and knew they had little time left, and called the crew to Prayer
in the Control room to ask God to help them before making one
last effort to free the Sub.
"Dear God," he prayed,
"we have tried everything in our power to save ourselves
and we have failed. Yet we believe that You can do all things
which are impossible to men. Please, O Lord, deliver us."
The crew started to rise to their
feet, then Lonsdale praying the Lord's Prayer found himself being
joined in prayer with more reverance and feeling than he had
ever believed possible.
Afterwards crew members said it
was a never to be forgotten scene when they prayed together.
Soon afterward they made a last attempt to release the Sub, and
this time it worked - the submarine was released and rapidly
rose to the surface 23 hours after it dived.
Later Lonsdale said "Our faith
was answered in a way that to many of us seemed miraculous,"
This remarkable story is an encouragement
to us, the arm of the Lord is never to short to save when we
call upon His Name....as the Scripture says....
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart
of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains
quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make
glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break
of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice,
the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob
is our fortress. Psalm 46: 1-7
March 2nd 2003
P.S. Maybe you know Servicemen or women
who would be encouraged by this - by all means pass this on.
The full story of HMS Seal can be found
in it's Biography "Will not we fear" by C.E.T.Warren
and James Benson