How To Drown Yourself In A Bucket


The Late Johnny Capes

My father, who’s been somewhat of a rogue in his time, tells a remarkable story of a man he knew in the navy. A chap by the name of Johnny Capes. My old man insists that he and Capes were great friends… but then, over the years, I’ve learned to close one ear whenever my father is telling a tale. Even so, the story of Capes’ amazing escape from a sunken submarine is truly incredible… and nearly lead to my own drowning when I tried the same technique many years later…

You see, Johnny Capes was the sole survivor of a British submarine… he escaped through a hatch from a submerged depth of 180 feet with just a bucket on his head.

In 1941, during World War Two, HMS Perseus struck an Italian mine and was lying critically damaged on the seabed in the Mediterranean, just six miles off the coast of the Greek island of Cephalonia. Not only did the magnificent Capes survive to reach the surface, he then swam the six miles to Cephalonia, was found and rescued by Cephalonian Partisans, lived wild in the mountains and fought with the Partisans against Italian occupiers for nearly two years before escaping to Turkey to find his long way home. Tough stuff eh?

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