Recent Canadian Submarine Qualification Procedures Questioned
This is a very substantial accusation which I hope isn't true. A retired Canadian submarine captain, Peter Kavanagh, is claiming in testimony to the Commons Defense (used the American spelling) Committee detailed in this CNEWS article, that initial submarine qualification standards for Canadian submariners in the late 1990s were substantially reduced as a matter of expediency.
"For some time, he said, the navy had been under-manning the Oberon boats. That, coupled with normal attrition - submarine service is cold, cramped and uncomfortable - shrank the pool of qualified personnel.
"There was a period of years when the money to run the O-boats started to dry up," he told MPs, who are looking into the submarine program in the wake of a fatal fire aboard HMCS Chicoutimi last year.
The navy rushed to fill the gap. Sailors won their cherished dolphins - the gold insignia of a submariner - with little sea service."
In most navies, submariners have to be onboard their boats for at least six months, with significant at-sea time, in order to be qualified as submariners. In some cases, such as for the initial manning crew of a submarine, the Sailors won't go to sea in their own boats, but other subs will take them out on qualification rides; the Canadians apparently weren't able to do that. I'll follow this story to see if there's any additional fallout from Capt. Kavanagh's claims.
Staying at PD...
Update 2221 04 Feb: Here's a report from Canada.com of HMCS Chicoutimi reaching the Naval Dockyard in Halifax.