Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Submarine Safety Deja Vu

Today - Central News Agency - Submarine captain's body recovered off southern Taiwan

The body of Chen Chi-tsung, captain of the submarine Hai Lung, was reclaimed from the sea 3.1 nautical miles southwest of Zuoying naval base near southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City at 7: 45 a.m., naval sources said. The 47-year-old captain had been washed off the conning tower of his vessel by strong waves during a drill two days ago.

Vice Adm. Sun Yi-cheng said the Navy has learned a painful from the accident and will strengthen safety measures. From now on, Sun said, all naval personnel working on the decks of warships or on the raised observation towers of submarines will be required to put on a life jacket and safety line hooked up to the hull of the vessel.
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

A similar tragedy happened in the U.S. Navy years ago, in which a naval captain fell overboard into the sea. ...

Commander A. L. Wilderman, CO of USS Plunger (SSN-595), was lost overboard in a storm just off San Francisco. 2 Dec. 1973. (This was neither the first nor only such an accident during peacetime).

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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