Sunday, October 24, 2010

Interview with grounded sub's CIVILIAN fathometer operator

The following excerpt comes from an interview [dead URL] by one Rick Eberhardt (R.E.) with a fathometer operator after a recent grounding incident. The operator (disguised in photo) consented to be interviewed only as Lady X.
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R.E.: Were you the fathometer operator when the sub grounded?
Lady X: I was.
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R.E.: Can you share your opinion of why the sub grounded?
Lady X: Sea depths can vary unpredictably; coastal depths are even more notorious. We were supposed to be motionless at the time, however.
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R.E: Stopped, you say. Were you at anchor then?
Lady X: We were not anchored. There may have been a situation with the anchor. You will have to ask someone else that question.
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R.E.: Did you ever warn your superiors about depth?
Lady X: Not very likely; I was on break when we felt a halting, or gradual skidding and rather loud metallics.
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R.E.: If you were supposedly not in motion, couldn't you sense any unintended motion?
Lady X: No, no acceleration, rumble or propulsion sounds of any kind.
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R.E.: What was ship's depth just before the jolt?
Lady X: There was never any jolt; it was rather a noisey skid to a halting stop. Afraid I am not allowed to discuss with you exact depths connected with operation of this submarine.
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R.E.: Alright. Let me ask if the fathometer has an automatic setting to alarm for shallow depth to keel.
Lady X: Of course it does, that sub is more complex than a Space Shuttle, but we were operating surfaced near the coast with hatches popped wide, and the navy did not want locals to hear any alarms. All unnecessary alarms had been turned off for that portion of our trials.
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R.E: Your disguise is very good. Honestly, your precise gender is puzzling even with that husky voice. We are under the impression that the Royal Navy has no women in its submarine crews. Will you confirm that?
Lady X: I can neither confirm nor deny that, but I will tell you that I am a civilian working for a shipyard, not a sailor in Her Majesty's.
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(the spoof interview proceeded for approximately 2 more pages)
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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