Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Submarine Escape Trainer Pictures

Some pictures of the new Submarine Escape Trainer in Groton can be found in this topic post over at Nuke Warriors.

Personally, I never went through the ascent part of the training; I just did the pool trainer they used to have where you "ascend" about 3 feet. Have any of you done the full-blown thing?


Blogger Unknown said...

I did sub school in Groton during January and February of 1972 after two years at West Milton, NY at the D1G prototype. We all had to do two ascents with the Steinke hood from 50 feet. A good time was had by all except a few. Best thing was flooding the airlock. I was tall enough that everyone else was swimming when the water got high enough to cover the door to the tank.

8/05/2009 8:41 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

From the 50' lock, yes. The real value of the tank training (and the recompression chamber usually done just before) was automatically weeding out claustrophobes.

The rule was simple: 'raise your hand and we'll let you out.' We had one guy in my lock group do so, we vented and drained down, out he went, and he was moved out of the barracks by the time we got back two hours later - never saw him again. Haze gray and underway? Solyent Green?

8/05/2009 10:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I did in the early 80's with a Steinke hood - it wasn't too bad. I read your blog regularly and served on Topeka after you and in Special Projects before you.

8/05/2009 10:26 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Yep, during sub school. The current
exterior design is a major improvement to what had been a base eyesore.

8/05/2009 10:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got to do the Australian version which is a full 20 meters. Pretty damn cool. They require all submariners to do it during initial training and then recert every couple of years. Only problem there is that their tower is run by civilian contractors and their contract is in dispute. Oh and their tower sprung a leak - I will post the article later.

8/05/2009 10:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two trips from 50', first was a Blow & Go, the second, years later, with the Steinke Hood. Enjowed the ride, and the scenery painted on the wall.


8/05/2009 11:15 AM

Anonymous reddog said...

I agree with Rubber Ducky. The ascent tank and pressure chamber were just to weed out the weenies. The blow and go was really fun. I don't recall anybody chickening out. There was a guy in the pressure chamber that couldn't clear his ears. He was gone next day.

Neither was really relevant for submarine candidates that would spend most of their time submerged in the deep ocean. I don't think anything they have, even today, would help a guy out past about 300 feet. The new floaty suits would probably make body recovery easier.

8/05/2009 11:36 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

Also could not clear my left ear. Told the instructor in the chamber I wasn't leaving. Blew my eardrum. No biggie.

8/05/2009 12:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In early '68, we did one ascent, blow&go with a life jacket, and a second with a Steinke Hood; both from 50'.

I was kind of disappointed, since in the mid-50's, my father got to do a blow&go with out a life jacket, and a 100' ascent with a Momsen Lung.

8/05/2009 1:28 PM

Blogger chief torpedoman said...

I did it in spring of 1972 at Groton. Two ascents from 50'witht the steinke hood. First one, I was a scared 18 year old and the second one was really fun. Do they still have to yell Ho, Ho, Ho, blow and go as you rise up? If the divers in the water could not hear you yelling that when they got next to you on the way up, they would pull you aside in a chamber and chew you out. They heard me real well!

Let's hear from TMCM(SS)DBF (ret). I bet he has a story to tell.

8/05/2009 1:31 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

"HO, HO, HO" I remember it well. I was fortunate enough to do it three times, twice in New London, and once in Pearl Much warmer in Pearl. The first time was free ascent blow and go continuously and the other two were in Stenkie hoods with the "ho,Ho,HO". Had one shipmate that got pulled into the thirty foot lock because he wasn't ho, ho, hoing. After some time, he was let up and did so. I was on SUBSCOL staff when the decision to close the tank was made in the eighties and XO of the SUBASE when the decision was made to tear it down. I have toured the new trainer and it is fabulous. The new survival suits look more effective than the simple Steinke hood as well. I hope we train well and never use.

8/05/2009 2:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like they didn't have time to paint some murals like the old tank, but then we only get to see down about 25ft. The new suits with personal rafts are a nice touch though.

8/05/2009 7:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a nuke in the late 80s, I never got to attend sub school. However, at dive school at Coronado NAB I got to do several free ascents in their tower. That knee to the chest is a good reminder to continue exhaling.

8/05/2009 10:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO HO HO, yea it was great. Did in NL subschool in 76. I thought it was excellent. Did it from 50'. Didn't have anyone in my class drop because of it. A couple got pulled at 30', but ended up finishing. Most of us wanted to do it again. I grew up hearing the stories about it from my Dad and Grandfather. As it was said in an earlier post, they had to recert every so often. They had to go from 100'.

8/05/2009 10:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1967. Blow and Go. 50'.

Chris S.

8/06/2009 7:51 AM

Anonymous flem snopes said...

1964 - Blow and Go in Sub School - 50' - 2 trips.

1965 - Whole boat qual with Steinke hood - 50' - 2 trips.

In Sub School we had a Pakistani sub crew go with us. After the film and practicing on the mock-up door in the classroom we all got into swimsuits and mustered at the elevator.

A Pakistani CPO stalled out at the elevator door and was escorted away.

All the ascents were an E ticket ride.


8/07/2009 4:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new suits are supposed to be good to 600'. Regardless they are much better than the steinke hoods, we were pretty much the only country not usingfull suits

8/08/2009 5:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes. Went up the tower at Pearl with a few other nukes. This was around 1976. They took us all to the 50' hatch and sent us all up in the hood. That was pretty cool. But then came a real treat. They asked anyone who was a diver if they wanted to try it without the hood. I had learned to scuba dive when I was stationed in San Diego. Being as I thought I was indestructible along with 5 other guys I volunteered. That wasn't so much fun. They warned us if we stopped bubbling they'd stop us. So it wasn't "Ho Ho Ho". It was one long Hooooooooo............*". Like the blow and go the other fellow mentioned. Even at that speed it was hard. Still don't believe they let us. Nuts that we were we begged 'em to let us go from the bottom chamber. I think we'd done our limits for high speed ascents already at that point so it was a no go. The real hoot was coming out of the water up to your waist when you surfaced.

8/19/2009 10:06 PM

Anonymous Ivy said...

Quite effective info, thank you for this post.

9/05/2012 9:40 AM

Anonymous Jerry Schlotter said...

I did sub school in 1962 in New London, Ct. It was a 150' tank and your first blow and go was with a Mae West type inflateable vest. I coughed at the 50' level and had to be rescued.My ribs and back were repeatedly punched by divers. The Steinke Hood was talked about.

11/08/2012 5:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Groton in 1981.

We did the compression chamber, no problem. With respect to the escape trainer, the word was, "it was broken, so we didn't get to do it. Not sure how a vertical tube of water can get "broken.". We heard later that someone had died in the escape trainer with the past few months.
Former MM1/SS, SSBN 620(G), SSN 660

7/02/2013 9:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1967 blow and go.
i remember the hose popping off clearly. found out later that was a test.
starshippe at hot mail dot com, if there are any shipmates viewing.

7/23/2013 7:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I go through this today! Hooyah!

12/09/2013 4:30 AM


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