Few sounds arouse more pride and seriousness in a submariner than that of a diving alarm declaring that the boat is once more slipping below the waves. At the same time, every submariner understands the inherent risk of taking ships to sea, no matter what flag they sail under.
Curiously, the same alarm is used when emergency surfacing the boat using compressed air—a last resort when the submarine is in extreme peril. Unfortunately, this system has sometimes been unequal to the severity of the casualty, dragging the crew down to the ocean floor. For those on a submarine, unlike a surface ship, the story does not necessarily end there. For decades, the United States has invested in developing and maintaining the ability to locate and rescue the crew of a downed submarine.
1. Peter Maas, The Terrible Hours: The Greatest Submarine Rescue in History (New York: Perennial, 2001), 182.
2. Submarine Escape and Rescue Working Group, “International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office Concept,” 13 June 2003, 1.
3. Frederick J. “Fritz” Roegge, “RimPac 2016: An Exercise in Response and Interoperability,” Ho’okele, August 5, 2016, sec. A.
4. Gabriel Collins et al., “Chinese Evaluations of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force,” Naval War College Review 61, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 71.