Navy’s New Escape Trainer Helps Submariners Avoid a Watery Grave

Posted: March 20, 2011 in Uncategorized
Photo: Kevin Cooley

Photo: Kevin Cooley

Getting out of a plunging Navy jet is simple: Pull the eject lever. Escaping from a disabled nuclear sub? A bit trickier. You first have to climb into a full-body buoyancy suit (which later transforms into a one-man life raft), then scramble into an escape chamber, seal the door, inflate the suit, and hold on tight as the lock is flooded with icy water. Then open the hatch and try not to panic during that long float to the surface. Luckily, the US Naval School in New London, Connecticut, now has a facility that lets sailors perform not-so-dry runs. The 37-foot-deep, 84,000-gallon tank — the first of its kind in the US — offers exact replicas of the escape chambers in Virginia— and Los Angeles-class submarines. Perfect for teaching sailors how to rise to the top.

Four Steps to Avoiding a Watery Grave

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