Submarine Sinking at Cartagena

Between the 26th and 29th of June, navy ships will be on hand in the waters around Cartagena, engaged in the rescue of a submarine that has sunk with sailors trapped inside.

However, the fortunate news is that this is an exercise, for which those involved hope they will never have to play out in real life, which will take place under the exercise name of ‘Cartago-18’.

During the exercise, the material, means and procedures available to assist and extend the life of the survivors on board will be checked until the arrival of the means of rescue or escape in the event of an accident of this magnitude.

The exercise will have two different phases. On the one hand, there will be a simulated phase in which the accident is announced and the different reactions that must be carried out by the major units involved will be tested. On the other hand, the ‘Livex’ phase will be developed, in which the different units will check the means at their disposal to extend the life of the survivors on board the submarine until the arrival of the means of rescue or escape.

The actions to be taken once the accident has been declared will see the search and readiness tested, and in parallel the crew of the distressed submarine will use the means on board to extend survival. Also, once located, the teams will create an exclusion zone and perform ventilation of the atmosphere of the submarine by means of the connection of hoses to the interior of the submersible and the supply of vital material to the ship through sealed containers that will be introduced through the rescue lock.

Also, in case the conditions on board force to abandon the submarine, the same exclusion will be used so that the crew escape. The attention of those escaped will be made in the phase of treatment of mass casualties. Finally, the recovery of the submersible will be carried out with the refloating by dislodging the water from the ballasts by means of pressurised air provided by hoses.

The Tramontana submarine, the Neptune search and rescue vessel, fleet units, a team of the Special Naval Warfare Force, the rescue vessel Clara Campoamor, a plane and a Sasemar helicopter, will all participate in the exercise.