Photographs have been unearthed by Windermere Lake Cruises of a submarine, which was used in the 1990s to explore the depths of England’s longest lake.
It was used to transfer more than 3,500 visitors to the sub’ from ashore in its first season alone.
Windermere Lake Cruises’ archivist, skipper and author Rob Beale, said: “Launched in 1997 and owned by Paul and Jane Whitfield, the ‘Windermere’ could carry 10 passengers per dive.
“Piloted by Alan Whitfield, the sub was equipped with sonar equipment, cameras and scientific instrumentation which he hoped would help to locate unusual sights following numerous tales of sunken wrecks.
“Windermere was 28 feet long, with enough oxygen on board to keep 10 people alive for 96 hours or 44 days for a single individual.
“The fare for an hour-long cruise was £49.50 and dives commenced in August 1997.
“A small wreck was soon located close to Lakeside which became a focal point for the cruise, which often went up the lakes as far as the YMCA.”
Windermere Lake Cruises’ John Woodburn said: “I dived to the bottom of the lake with Alan at least twice. He was so patriotic, he stood to attention on the submarine awaiting the passengers in a blue boiler suit with the Union Flag emblazoned thereon.
“I always felt that I should salute him when boarding the sub.”
The venture ceased after the 1998 season as the company had only one pilot and the cruise rarely sailed at its advertised capacity.
It has also explored wrecks in Mauritius and now operates in Barbados.