Some old Buccaneer memories

I didn't have much to do with Buccaneers , being primarily concerned with Sea Vixens . However, whilst serving at Yeovilton , I was required to assist with some "trials" of a new type of arrestor gear called "SPRAG". This consisted of two water-filled tubes ,about 600 feet long,which were installed either side of the runway near 27 .The tubes contained pistons,attached to an arrestor wire stretched across the runway. When the wire was "pulled" or "engaged" by an A/C , the pistons travelled down the cylinders, forcing the incompressible water through small nozzles , to collect in the outer casing.As the pistons travelled , they drew out a "retrieve rope" which was kept in a box and VERY CAREFULLY faked down,with metal rods in each corner to alleviate fouling. Then,to reset the apparatus , the ends of the retrieve ropes were attached to two Pusser's landrovers which drove away SLOWLY to pull the pistons back,. It was then MY job to VERY CAREFULLY insert the rods and fake down the rope for the next engagement !! The main pont of this story is that,despite having DOZENS of Vixens available, we used two Buccaneers S1 from Lossie for the trials ; I have never quite understood that ! !
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