Ray Cossum Obituary, Death – Ray Cossum, a member of the Channel Swimming Association for many years and is one of its most ardent supporters has died. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Des Cossum and his family on the passing of Ray Cossum, who was 91 at the time of his death. He was a member of the CSA Board of Directors and Vice President. Ray had spent the majority of the previous months in a hospital in Northern Ireland. Ray’s entire life had been shaped by the sea because he was born near the English Channel.
He was a Cheriton resident who crossed the Channel for the first time in the mid-1930s. He worked as a young man in submarines such as the HM Submarines Tiptoe, Artful, and Silent. After completing three classes, he became an instructor for submarine escapes. He competed in some Irish swims as a diver alongside fellow diver and former President Gerry Forsberg. In 1971, he competed in the France/England race. He took part in Folkestone Aqua Club activities with Sam Rockett in the early 1960s. He also worked for Trinity House and Folkestone Salvage Company.
As a salvage engineer and diver, he was primarily responsible for blowing up wrecks and recovering cargo in the English Channel. He was involved in some of the most significant drilling and salvage operations in the Far East and throughout the world. His attempt to recover the last remaining gold ingots from the White Star liner “Laurentic” in 1986-1987, however, has to be his most notable achievement and claim to fame. While serving as an auxiliary cruiser for the Royal Navy, she was sunk by a mine in water forty meters deep just off the mouth of Lough Swilly in Donegal in 1917. She was carrying 3211 gold ingots, which are worth a whopping $1.25 billion in today’s money. The wreck is a popular diving destination and is currently owned by the Cossum family. It is located in relatively clear waters.