Thursday, September 25, 2008

Submarine rescue apparatus

The risks run by those who go down into the sea in submarines are likely to be minimised in future by an invention just patented by Mr Henry Lesser.
The nature of the invention is as follows: On the roof of the submarine a large buoy or float is held in a horizontal position in a bracket. Attached to the buoy, by a long wire, are three rubber tubes with screw caps of any length desired. These tubes are passed through a block in the roof of the submarine, in which block are nine very flexible rubber washers, three to each tube.
In the case of an accident to the submarine while below the surface of the water, the buoy is released by the pulling of a cord from within, and rises to the surface, carrying with it the attached wire. It will thus be visible to would-be rescuers who can, by hauling up the wire, bring to the surface the rubber tubes. The screw caps of these being unscrewed, fresh air is admitted to the submarine by one tube, foul air can be expelled by another, and water or liquid food supplied to the imprisoned crew via the third tube. Meanwhile the nine rubber washers prevent any ingress of water to the interior of the submarine.
In another variation of the scheme the buoy and cord are connected to a strong wire rope, which in its turn is attached to chains fastened on the roof of the submarine. The idea of the inventor is that by fastening the wire rope to a winch, a disabled submarine could be drawn straightway up to the surface without any need for the services of a diver.
Mr Lesser states that with the exception of the rubber tubing the cost of fitting his invention to a submarine would not exceed £5.
The Admiralty, to whom particulars of Mr Lesser's invention have been sent, are now considering its practicability."

Eastern Province Herald - September 22, 1908.

I wonder if he ever considered how much tubing would need to be carried with a submarine at a great depth. There wouldn't have been space for the crew. Maybe a remote controlled sub would have done away with the need to resue submariners trapped on the sea bed.
history novice said...
I wonder if there is anything to help rescue today's sub-mariner?What happened to the Russian submarine where all crew where lost? Was the rescue attempts blocked politically?
October 2, 2008 11:58 PM
markyi said...
Yes, there are ways of rescuing the crew from damaged submarines, but in order for it to work it has to used, not kept away from the scene because of political considerations, which is what happened with the Kursk. Apparently 23 crewmen survived but they were killed shortly afterwards. There is a comprehensive article on the sinking of the Kursk at http://www.users.cloud9.net/~bradmcc/kursk.html.
October 3, 2008 2:38 AM

2 comments:

history novice said...

I wonder if there is anything to help rescue today's sub-mariner?
What happened to the Russian submarine where all crew where lost? Was the rescue attempts blocked politically?

markyi said...

Yes, there are ways of rescuing the crew from damaged submarines, but in order for it to work it has to used, not kept away from the scene becvause of political considerations, which is what happened with the Kursk. Apparently 23 crewmen survived but they were killed shortly afterwards. There is a comprehensive article on the sinking of the Kursk at http://www.users.cloud9.net/~bradmcc/kursk.html.