Submariner Training and the Submarine Escape Training Tower

Tui Bird

In 1949 I did the DSEA course and found myself in the two man chamber that was in the DSEA school along with the 15 ft tank. Unfortunately the oxygen bottle on my set was empty and it took hard knocking on the sight port to get the instructor's attention .Got a full bottle and went through OK . But never went near the place again . In 1953 I was LEM in spare crew with my main job -- watch the bathroom plugs in VULCAN Block didn't get pinched . However I was detailed to take a team and hang a lit sign on the sea ward top of the new 100 ft tower . t showed EiiR in lights for the Fleet review . Not a difficult job , but I did get a look at the top of the tank ( they were commissioning the tank at the time ) and decided no way was I going through all that water and never did and served from 1953 to 1955 as PO Electrician of AMPHION until 1955 when I left the RN . Never believed there was much chance of getting sunk in peacetime (and none have in the RN since I left ) and if I was unlucky and in a sunken boat , the history gave little encouragement of my escaping , anyway probably be in waters too deep to able to try . The attached pic is from the web and said to be 1942 . Posh trunks for the pic- we just had a tie on cotton slip to cover the genitals. All in all not a big deal -- the real trick is not to get into a surface collision and offer a small prayer the lookouts are keen and the OOW knows what he is doing --- I would think the same applies today on an SSN on the surface in a busy shipping lane . Bit like a car --drive carefully and hope you never need to use the air bags . Not surprise they shut the 100 ft tank while the risks of death were not high , they were less in a boat . Search on the web for the WW2 personal experiences of HMS STRATAGUM .



War Hero
Anyone watching the Channel 4 programme about the Mary Rose on Sunday evening will have seen the SETT being used training "Free divers". It is looking a bit tatty now but still usable.
Aye, spotted it straight away & there did seem to be a fair few clumps of algae growing on the insides - needs a few swim-boys down there to lick it all clean again.

One theory they didn't consider was that non-European skeleton found in the bilges - Methinks he might have been just another 'free-diver' of the salvage team but one who didn't make it back to the surface.

Cracking programme - Viewed the final lift from our offices in the RN S/M School ATT,

Must visit the MR again, last time was way back in the early days in dock when it was veiled in constant clouds of preservative spray & mist.

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