NDG Trained for Submarine Sinking Incident

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The Northern Diving Group (NDG), based at HMNB Clyde at Faslane, the experts when it comes to a diverse range of Diving tasks and Explosive Ordnance Disposal, are trained for a highly unlikely event of a sinking incident involving a submarine.

NDG play a huge part in the successful deployment of the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS), which also operates out of HMNB Clyde.

NSRS is a tri-nation initiative with France and Norway also on board and was introduced in 2006. It is managed by Rolls Royce but NDG is the only UK military unit to supply specialist operatives to the system. And they do it with only 33 people.

Such a complex systems needs frequent testing, and personnel from the navies of the three NATO allies gathered recently at HMNB Clyde to take part in a large-scale, scenario-led exercise over four days.

For the NSRS team, any rescue operation presents two main risks: Contamination and Decompression. The NSRS offers the crew their best hope for survival, providing the bespoke Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) therapeutic recovery system.

The £130M system can cleanse the crew from contaminants and crucially, re-compress oxygen-saturated sailors.

All 360 tonnes of equipment that makes up the TUP system is stored in a 150-metre long purpose built hanger at HMNB Clyde. Each piece of the jigsaw is stored in sequence, ready to be loaded on to trucks and then to heavy transport aircraft, for onward transit to the incident locale. There, NSRS will requisition the nearest appropriate ship on which the entire TUP system can be welded to the stern, all within 72 hours where possible.

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Image: Royal Navy

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