Interesting Old Submarine Photo

A co-worker and I were discussing strange photos we have seen. I mentioned a photo that I saw years ago that showed USS S-5’s tail sticking out of the water. During the 1920s, submarines that submerged occasionally did not come back up. In this case, the crew was very clever. The submarine was 231 feet long and sank in 194 feet of water. The crew was able to lighten the aft section and float the tail of the sub up to the surface. With great difficulty, they cut a hole in the tail and waited for a ship to come by. No one lost their life, which for early submarines is an amazing statement. Figure 1 shows the tail section protruding from the water. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for the crew to move around in a small sub with its end tipped up. Also, the aft area necks down to become pretty tiny. It must have been extremely cramped.

Figure 1: USS S5 Tail Protruding Above the Water.

Figure 1: USS S5 Tail Protruding Above the Water.

If you would like to read more about the S-5 and its sinking, see this web site. A book has been written about the incident called “Under Pressure: The Final Voyage of Submarine S-Five” by A.J. Hill.

Here is another photograph showing a rescue ship.

Figure 2: S-5's Tail Near One of Its Rescuers.

Figure 2: S-5’s Tail Near One of Its Rescuers.

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About mathscinotes

I am an engineer who encounters interesting math and science problems almost every day. I am not talking about BIG math here. These are everyday problems where a little bit of math really goes a long way. I thought I would write some of them down and see if others also found them interesting.
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