The Sub Disaster that Wasn't


Here’s the story of one captain who refused to go down with the ship:

Recently the captain and crew of one of China’s twelve Kilo class subs (submarine 372) were publically honored for saving themselves and their sub with quick and effective response to a flooding problem that threatened to take the boat deep enough to be crushed. Not many details of the incident were revealed but it was emphasized that the crew acted more effectively than earlier crews had done. Perhaps most importantly the captain did not call for a tug to haul the crippled (for a while until the crew could make repairs) sub back to port. This has happened many times to Chinese subs in the last few decades. But not 372 and that was worthy of praise and a great relief to political and military leaders. The actions of the crew and its captain indicated that the billions of dollars and decades of effort had paid off. A major reason for this was the decision in the late 1990s to have ships, and especially subs, spend more time at sea.

China has been working for years to develop the ships, subs, and naval traditions required by a real navy — and especially on the officers and crews. Here we have an indication that their efforts are paying off.

US Navy, take note.