Escape From Below:
Pressurized Submarine Escape Trainer
This is a place where no light enters and only the creatures of the deep thrive, it is the deep, dark, cold, crushing depths of the world's oceans, this is the home of the Navy's "silent service."
But what happens when a submarine isn't able to surface? How do the Sailors make it back to the surface?
At the Navy Submarine School at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut submariner students are taught just how to survive that worst-case scenario.
A two-day class in the state-of-the-art facility at Momsen Hall is real-life training from the Sailors that know working at depth first hand: Navy divers.
Upon entering Momsen Hall, the smell of chlorine and humidity grows heavy in the air as you walk down the passage way - its walls decorated in history and pride of the Navy diver.
"What we do here is we teach real-time submarine escape," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Clark, a Navy diver and instructor at the escape trainer. "Knowing how subs operate it's never in a good place, it's never in the Caribbean, and it's always some place you don't want to be."
On the first day students go through medical screening and are tested on their ability to perform the Valsalva maneuver, the attempted forceful exhalation against a closed airway - the same way you may try to clear your ears when flying.
"We want to make sure their body can undertake pressure before we even get to the pressure testing," said Clark.
Some people's anatomies just can't do it. The students are taught basic diving physiology and the types of things that can go wrong before we can do the pressure test." - PO3 Anthony Clark