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, September 16, 2009

Body Of Taiwanese Submarine Captain Found

The body of Chen Chi-tsung, CO of the Taiwanese submarine Hai Lung (SS 793), was recovered from the sea today. Captain Chen was washed overboard from the sail of his submarine on Monday:
Over a 1,000 Navy personnel, dozens of vessels and chopper sorties were deployed in the two-day search for Chen, who was swept off the submarine Hai Lung's sail, the tower-like structure of the vessel, during a training exercise Monday. Chen was not wearing a life jacket or attached to a safety hook at the time. Chen's body was found at 7:42 a.m. in waters 3.1 nautical miles southwest of the naval port in Zuoying. At 8:02 a.m., a rescue vessel reclaimed the body and verified it as the deceased submarine skipper.
The Hai Lung is a modified Zwaardvis-class submarine of Dutch manufacture, which is based on the old U.S. Barbel-class boats.

The loss of any Submariner is cause for sadness, but seeing a boat loses their skipper is especially heart-rending. Sailor, Rest Your Oar.


Anonymous EX ANAV said...

Chen was not wearing a life jacket or attached to a safety hook at the time.

I thought the world wide submarine force posted lessons learned to each other to prevent this sort of thing. What a shame, this was a preventable loss.

9/17/2009 4:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Training goal #7: Topside Safety

Goal results: Not met

9/17/2009 6:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

XO" Hey Skipper look over there, a dolphin"
Skipper, "where"
XO,"lean over and look out that way"
perfect case of skipper envy. Very Sad.

9/17/2009 8:55 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

According to Taiwan News, "While rough weather was believed to be the major reason leading to Chen's death, Sun said the Navy is still conducting a thorough investigation on the incident in hopes of getting to the bottom of how it occurred."

9/17/2009 11:00 AM

Blogger tennvol said...

When I was in (got out in '96) there was no requirement to wear a life vest or lanyard in the sail. Has that changed?

9/17/2009 12:43 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Even though I was harnessed, this almost happened to me as CO.

As a DH, my CO cracked a few ribs due to a 'rogue wave.'

I'm not a believer in rogue waves, you can see them coming; but sometimes you aren't paying attention and the ocean will reach out and bitch slap you. She is one harsh mistress.

9/17/2009 3:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope no SOJU was involved.

9/17/2009 4:26 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

Sad that he died at sea. A life jacket might have saved him.

I'm not keen on on harnesses TOPSIDE after hearing from Sailors who watched firsthand as their COB & shipmate were bludgeoned to death against the hull & were unable to be cut free for an agonizingly long time.

A life jacket & a good swimmer w/ a nearby security boat (a must have most of the time we're surfaced) are all we need.

Harnesses up in the sail is just common sense though. The Japanese boats do it, we do it, no idea why the Taiwanese wouldn't. Maybe now they will. A painful lesson for them.

May he rest in peace.

9/17/2009 7:59 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Didn't see a clear answer: Are harnesses now REQUIRED in the sail for CO's? Never saw a CO wear one when I was in, back in 90's. I always figured it was Darwin Selection. I like the bitch slap comment.

9/18/2009 6:37 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in command (02-04) the rules had already changed to require harnesses on anyone outside the cockpit (not just those outside the flying bridge). Can't remember if it was a rule or not, but some COs (including me) also required those in the cockpit to wear harnesses. But some COs still went without for themselves, using the "my boat, my rules" philosophy.

9/18/2009 3:41 PM

Anonymous AnnoyedNavET said...

On 29DEC06 I was aboard Minneapolis-Saint Paul when Tom Higgins and Mike Holtz were killed after being washed overboard by a wave. I can tell you first hand that harnesses and lanyards are a VERY BAD IDEA for those topside on the main deck. Those men died because of that foolishness. Those harnesses are designed to protect a person from a fall from height, not from a deck just a few feet above water. Had they not been tethered, they would have been fine as the security boats were able to rescue two guys who were not tethered. Now, as for in the cockpit or flying bridge, or sail area in general, then the harnesses and lanyards are probably a good idea, as one could fall a signifigant distance and hit the deck. Again, those harnesses are meant to protect one from a fall from a high location. For those COBs out there, the best thing you can do for your guys is make sure EVERYONE, including the guys in the sail, are wearing kapoks or other good life preservers. But, for the sake of your men, keep those harnesses off of the main deck. I never want to see ANYONE else meet that fate. Rest your oars Mike and Tom. Rest your oars.

9/19/2009 12:21 AM


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