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Old 05-06-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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I visited the submarine that can be toured in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. I enjoyed it but after fifteen minutes I could not wait to get out. I wondered how people can stand being in a submarine for months at a time.

Yes, I understand that the people on submarine duty are volunteers and there is quite a bit of testing for suitability and claustrophobia, but I wonder if all the tests and interviews in the world can actually predict how someone is going to react to the actual long time in the submarine.

Does anyone who did sub duty remember anyone freaking out and having a serious catastrophic attack? What is the longest you would be at sea and did you count down the final days and hours until you could get off the ship?

Last edited by Weekend Traveler; 05-06-2009 at 03:12 PM..
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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I served 5 years in the Navy, 3 of them aboard USS Springfield (SSN 761). You are correct in that the tests are fairly extensive, but people do just "wig out" sometimes. I, for one, never saw a claustrophobic attack while underway, but people have indeed lost it, mostly due to stress levels. Being 6'4", there are very few places on the submarine where you can stand and walk while standing straight. I certainly felt a tiny bit claustrophobic at times, but not to the point where it affected my performance or mental health.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend Traveler
...
Yes, I understand that the people on submarine duty are volunteers and there is quite a bit of testing for suitability and claustrophobia, but I wonder if all the tests and interviews in the world can actually predict how someone is going to react to the actual long time in the submarine.

Does anyone who did sub duty remember anyone freaking out and having a serious catastrophic attack? What is the longest you would be at sea and did you count down the final days and hours until you could get off the ship?

Actually the testing is very short, most of the guys do not even realise that they are being tested when it happens.

They are kind of sneaky.

I completed 17 patrols, 90 to 100 days each. Once we had to pull into Lisbon to make emergency repairs. Twice we had to pull in to port to load up replacement missiles [after having launched all of ours]. Otherwise all of my patrols were underwater continuously.

The only time that I have witnessed anyone having serious mental issues, it was a chief and the doc doped him up. Doc would let him gain consciousness once a day, so he could eat and use the toilet, then back to his bunk for another shot. Chemical restraints they called it. And really it was all brought on by a seaman slipping acid into a chief's coffee, so the chief was on an acid trip without knowing it.
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