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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Submarine Rescue Chamber


Deep Submergence Unit, Diving Systems Support Detachment (Submarine Rescue Chamber).

The unit now operates out of the DSU compound on Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, CA. DSSD operates as the underwater rigging experts for recovery operations. Working hand-in-hand with the other units within DSU, DSSD helps to rig objects for recovery by the underwater robots of Unmanned Vehicles Detachment.
Specifications: Maximum Depth: 850 ft
Weight: 21,600 lbs., in air 50 lbs. (Positive in water)
Crew: 2,
Six Rescues: Supported by Submarine Personnel Rescue Kit.
SRO: Umbilical Control Console, Six air banks arranged in two racks
Two 6R80 Compression
Light Tower Generator
4 Point Mooring Package/Rigging Van
Submarine Rescue Cable Reel
Spare Parts Shelter
SRC Fly Away Stand


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Holland 1.41k ESCAPE FROM SUNKEN SUBMARINES.
A detachable boat, manned and raised to the surface. This device has been patented by J. Fripp of Catford, England. The deck of the boat lies flush with the back of the submarine. Its lid is bolted to the body of the submarine by four bars, which can be released by a single turn of a screw. Between the boat and its containing chamber is a space of three inches, which can be filled with water from sea cocks after the crew has taken refuge. Thus, when the bolts are shot, the inrush of the water will cause the boat to swing outward, right itself and ascend. In the chamber wall is the hatch, or port of entrance, and opposite that, in the side of the boat is a similar port. Both these have strongly clamped hinged doors. When the boat reaches the surface another hatch can be opened on the deck, and thus the men may escape or obtain air until they are picked up. From the containing chamber rises at the same time a flat buoy fastened to the submarine by a fine line. This is left floating to mark the position of the wreck. The white dotted lines in the large picture show the track of the boat's ascent to the surface. In the lower position it is being manned by the escaping crew.
Image from the Illustrated London News.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo & text by New-York Tribune.(New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 09 December 1906, Image 24, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Plunger 641k View Inside a Submarine
Overhead is the commanding officers platform and the steering wheel. To the right is the inside tiller-wheel and below it the driving wheel to deflect the rudders. In the middle background is the flywheel and behind it are the submarine's engines. On the left is the indicator which shows the depth beneath the surface and the vessel's deflection from the horizontal.
The question of escape from sunken submarines is seriously engaging the attention of engineers and also that of communication with the surface. The presence of a disabled boat can be revealed by the detachable buoy connected with the vessel by a reel of wire. It also establishes telephone connection. This apparatus is now being fitted to the U. S. submarine Plunger (SS-02).
Image and text provided by University of Utah, Marriott Library.
Photo & text by The Spanish Fork Press. (Spanish Fork, Utah) 1902-current, 10 January 1907, Image 6, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Holland 1.39k AN INVERTED FLOATING DOCK AT KIEL
This vessel, which is a sort of floating bridge or inverted floating dock, is intended to raise a sunken submarine with the least possible delay. It carries cranes constructed to lift 500 tons. When the submarine has been made fast to the dock the sunken vessel will be hauled to the surface.
Image from the Illustrated London News.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo & text by New-York Tribune.(New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 08 December 1907, Image 22, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Holland 546k Machinery In Submarine Leaves But Little Space For Sailors
NAVAL men are just now paying a great deal of attention to the development of submarines, some making the prediction that this type of vessel is destined to make the costly Dreadnoughts obsolete. The recent sinking of a German submarine with its crew, all, but three of whom were rescued after remaining under water several hours, has directed attention to safety measures.
One suggestion is that submarines be built with removable keels, so that in case of an accident the keel can be dropped so that the body of the vessel will rise. The English admiralty has adopted a safety helmet with which all submarines will be equipped. The helmet fits the shoulders and is attached to a short waterproof jacket. Inside the helmet is a combined purifier and oxygen generator that will permit the wearer to breathe the same air repeatedly while quitting a disabled craft and rising to the surface. It is said that the apparatus can be put on in thirty seconds without assistance.
The cut printed above shows an unusual view of a submarine. It is a section of the Norwegian Kobben. and the gasoline engines and shafting for the twin screws are plainly shown. It will be noticed that little space is left in this end of the boat for the crew. The new German submarines will be constructed on this model.
Image and text provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH.
Photo & text by The Democratic Banner. (Mt. Vernon, Ohio) 1898-192?, 17 March 1911, Image 1, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Holland 1.90k Government to Build Dock Which Will Prevent Accidents in Testing Submarines Image and text provided by The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Photo & text by The Sun. (New York [N.Y.]) 1833-1916, 03 August 1913, FOURTH SECTION PICTORIAL MAGAZINE, Image 34, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
PDF added 11/30/12.
Holland 602k A NEWLY INVENTED DEVICE FOR SAVING IMPRISONED SUBMARINE MEN
This apparatus invented by Captain Hull and 8urgeon Rees of the British Navy, is dsslgned to save submarine sailors who are now hopelessly trapped and condemned to a horrible death in case the submarine is held under water, apparatus consists of a thin copper helmet and a water-proof jacket, the latter containing a pocket which is ingeniously fitted with a chemlcsl device for purifying tha man's breath, so that he can live and breathe freely for a considerable time under water. So successful have been the experiments that these life-saving suits are now fitted to all British boats. Each submarine is fitted with air locks when a certain quantity of air is imprisoned. When the boat is trapped or wrecked the men can breathe for a period long enough to allow them to put on the suit then they csn lift the hatch, pop out into the water and rise to the surface where they can float until rescued.
Image and text provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE.
Photo & text from the Omaha Daily Bee.
187?-1922, 18 April 1915, EDITORIAL SOCIETY, Image 25, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
PDF added 11/30/12.
SRC59kLieutenant Carlton Shugg, USN(CC),co-designer of submarine rescue chamber and designer of the New London submarine escape training tower; Lieutenant Norman S. Ives, USN, Commanding Officer of S-4 (SS-109); Lieutenant Charles B. Momsen, USN, developer of the submarine escape "lung"; and Chief Gunner Clarence Tibbals, USN, co-developer of the submarine escape "lung" and of the submarine rescue chamber.
Photographed at New London, Connecticut, circa the Winter of 1928-29. The four men are listed from left to right in this view.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, # NH 100126, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Courtesy of Mr. Wallace Shugg, 1984.
SRC72k A diving bell on the after deck of Falcon (ASR-2) during the early stages of the Squalus (SS-192) salvage operations, 1939, 30 May 1939. This is not a McCann Rescue Chamber, but the Momsen-McCann diving bell. This was originally the Seaplane hangar on submarine S-1 (SS-105).
When the S-1 program was cancelled the Seaplane hangar was salvaged by Charles Momsen, the submarine Commander, for conversion to a rescue Bell.
Photographed by the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 57503, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Partial text and photo i.d. courtesy of Jeffery G. Scism.
Submarine Escape Diving Suits 104k Crewman A.L. Rosenkotter of V-5 (SC-1) demonstrates the use of the submarine's after escape hatch and the emergency escape Momsen Lung, during V-5 trials, July 1930. In 1931, V-5 was renamed and redesignated, becoming Narwhal (SS-167). U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 45641.
Submarine Escape Diving Suits39kThe Momsen Lung in use by recruits at the Navy's submarine school. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC123k Acting Secretary of the Navy Charles Edison (center) reads a Letter of Commendation from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to members of the Squalus (SS-192) salvage unit, in his Navy Department offices, 16 September 1939. Looking on are Commander Allan R. McCann, USN, (left) and Commander Charles B. Momsen, USN, (right Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 57334, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
SRC267k Allan R. McCann stands next to the rail (third from left) as Falcon (ASR-2) crewmen suit-up two Deep Sea Divers during the rescue/salvage operation following the sinking of the U.S. Navy submarine Squalus (SS-192). Momsen led the successful effort, which resulted in the rescue of 33 submariners trapped aboard Squalus and remains to this day the greatest undersea rescue in history. U.S. Navy photo # N-0000X-002, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC159k Swede Momsen, traumatized by the sinking of the S-51 (SS-162) and learning that the men had survived the wreck only to be trapped inside the submarine at the ocean's bottom, thought of a way to rescue trapped Submariners.
He would build a large steel bell-shaped chamber, which could be lowered with cables down to the escape hatch on a sunken submarine. A watertight seal to the submarine could be achieved by placing a rubber gasket around the diving bell's bottom and reducing the air pressure once the bell was over the escape hatch. Then, the hatch could be opened, and the trapped Submariners could climb aboard. A hatch on the top of the bell would allow the rescued Submariners and diving bell operators an easy way out of the bell.
The diving bell went through a series of tests off the shores of Key West, Florida. Based on these tests, Momsen had several changes in mind for the bell, but was sent to the Bureau of Construction and Repair to teach Submariners how to use the Momsen Lung before he could make the changes. Lieutenant Commander Allan McCann was put in charge of the revisions on the diving bell. When the bell was completed in late 1930, it was introduced as the McCann Rescue Chamber.
Cutaway drawing of the device used to rescue 33 crewmen from the sunken submarine Squalus in May 1939.
Text courtesy of onr.navy.mil. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # NH 97291, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
SRC29kDiagram of the McCann Rescue Chamber. Courtesy of e-nekton.com.
SRC56k The Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) is loaded aboard an Air Force Reserve C-5A Galaxy at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego by members of the Navy's Deep Submergence Rescue Unit, Diving Systems Detachment. The SRC will be transported to Singapore for Exercise Pacific Reach 2000, a Submarine Rescue Exercise that will involve naval units from the United States, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Australia. 24 September 2000. U.S. Navy photo # N-1523C-047 by Senior Chief Photographer's Mate Terry Cosgrove, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC83k Members of the Navy's Deep Submergence Unit, Diving Systems Detachment, slide the Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC)from an Air Force Reserve C-5A Galaxy for transportation to Exercise Pacific Reach 2000. U.S. Navy photo # N-1523C-001 by Senior Chief Photographer's Mate Terry Cosgrove, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC243k Members of the U. S. Navy's Deep Submergence Unit Diving Systems Detachment secure the Submarine Rescue Chamber(SRC) aboard the MV Kendrick in preparation for Exercise Pacific Reach 2000. U.S. Navy photo # N-1523C-002 by Senior Chief Photographer's Mate Terry Cosgrove, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC10k Members of the U. S. Navy's Deep Submergence Unit Diving Systems Detachment secure the Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) aboard the MV Kendrick in preparation for Exercise Pacific Reach 2000. U.S. Navy photo # N-1523C-002 by Senior Chief Photographer's Mate Terry Cosgrove N-1523C-047, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC291k The U.S. Navy's Submarine Rescue Chamber(SRC) (foreground) is secured to the deck of the MV Kendrick by members of the Deep Submergence Unit Diving Systems Detachment in preparation for a multinational submarine rescue training exercise called Pacific Reach 2000. U.S. Navy photo # N-1523C-009 by Senior Chief Photographer's Mate Terry Cosgrove, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC81kThe U.S. Navy's Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) deploys from MV Kendrick to dive to the Republic of Singapore submarine Conqueror . During the submarine rescue exercise Pacific Reach 2000, the SRC will dive to the ocean floor more than 200 feet below, dock on the "disabled" sub and practice evacuating sailors. In a real life rescue, the SRC could safely deliver 6 sailors per trip to the surface. U.S. Navy photo # N-1523C-047 by Senior Chief Photographer's Mate Terry Cosgrove, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC258kThe Navy's Deep Submergence Unit Submarine Rescue Chamber is loaded on board a 747 aircraft at the Air Mobility Command (AMC) terminal at San Diego, Calif, on 7 June 2005. The equipment is being transported to Italy, where U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) divers will respond to a submarine escape and rescue exercise in the Mediterranean Sea during exercise "Sorbet Royal 2005." "Sorbet Royal " will test the capabilities and interoperability of 10 participating nations. Four submarines will participate in the exercise, testing divers abilities use rescue equipment to solve complex disaster problems. U.S. Navy photo # N-6426C-030 by Photographer's Mate 1st Class James Christopher, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC227k The Navy's Deep Submergence Unit Submarine Rescue Chamber is preparing to be loaded on board a 747 aircraft at the Air Mobility Command (AMC) terminal. U.S. Navy photo # N-6426C-011 by Photographer's Mate 1st Class James Christopher, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC27k Sailors aboard Grasp (ARS-51) ease the Submarine Rescue Chamber over the side on its way down to mate with the Spanish submarine Siroco. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of sorbetroyal2005.celex.net.
SRC170kCrewmembers aboard a U.S. Air force C-17 relax in the company of their charge, the U.S. Navy Submarine Rescue Chambers Flyaway System (SRCFS), during a training exercise, conducted at Naval Air station North Island at San Diego,12 February 2006. U.S. Navy photo # N-1126G-001 by Electronic's Technician Charles T. Grandin, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC77k U.S. Navy Submarine Rescue Chambers Flyaway System (SRCFS) is loaded on board an U.S. Air force C-17 during a training exercise, conducted at Naval Air station North Island at San Diego 12 February 2006. U.S. Navy photo # N-1126G-002 by Electronic's Technician Charles T. Grandin, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.
SRC131k Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Jason Beres, a reservist assigned to Deep Submergence Unit (DSU) at Naval Air Station North Island, talks about the Submarine Rescue Chamber to Cub Scout Pack 546 on 5 May 2007. The SRC is used to rescue the crew from a submerged disabled submarine.
DSU invited more than 1,000 visitors to tour its facility, May 4-5, during the Submarine Rescue Day that showcased the personnel, equipment, and capabilities used to perform worldwide submarine rescues.
U.S. Navy photo # N-4163T-055 by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephanie Tigner, courtesy of chinfo.navy.mil.

There is no DANFS History currently available for SRC at the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site, the main archive for the DANFS Online Project.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Surviving SUBSUNK
Naval Technology-LRS Sunmarine Rescue Systems-Submersible Rescue Vehicle
USS Squalus (SS-192) Salvage & FAQ
The NATO Submarine Rescue System goes to sea for initial trials

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