FOUR members of staff at Faslane naval base had a dramatic start to their day 15 years ago... here's our story from September 2, 2004.


THE routine journey to work turned into a drama for staff at Faslane last week when their coach driver collapsed.

It was heading downhill on the A814 towards the roundabout at the North Gate of HM Naval Base Clyde on Wednesday when it started to drift out of control.

Realising that the driver was having difficulties, sub lieutenant Scott MacAulay, 22, from HMS Vengeance, leapt to his aid by grabbing the steering wheel and regaining control of the coach.

Still at the wheel but unable to get to the brakes because of the unconscious driver, Scott sounded the horn to alert the Ministry of Defence Police at the gate and other road users to their plight, while shouting for help in getting the brakes on.

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Lieutenant Brian Grant, 57, the facilities manager at the Astute Training Facility, managed to crawl onto the floor and manually apply pressure to the brakes as Scott steered the coach round the roundabout and on to the Garelochhead road and Brian brought the vehicle safely to a halt.

While the drama was unfolding, leading writer Sean Gove, 33, who works in the cash office at HMS Neptune and is first aid trained, and petty officer weapons engineering artificer Andrew Johnston from the Trident Training Facility, took care of the driver.

Once the coach had stopped they got the driver safely out of the coach and Sean remained with him until an ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.

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A Faslane spokeswoman said: “Those involved in the drama said it happened so quickly that they just reacted instinctively to the situation as it developed.

“All agreed that the real hero of the moment was sub lieutenant Scott MacAulay, a non-driver, who steered the coach to safety.

“The drama happened at about 7.30am, one of the busiest times of the day with workers heading either into the base, on to RNAD Coulport or towards Helensburgh.

“Miraculously, this normally busy section of the A814 was quiet with little traffic in either direction and the quick thinking of those onboard the coach prevented what could have been a nasty accident.”