Submariners have always been risktakers, from those who manned the H L Hunley during the American Civil War all the way through to today’s sailors in HMCS Victoria. The risks are always there, given the inherent danger posed by the underwater environment and the complicated machinery in which submariners operate.
The Hunley was built by the Confederacy in a futile effort to break the Union blockade of Charleston. She was propelled by eight men with a hand crank, and her “torpedo” was an explosive device on the end of a long pole attached to her bow. Her first crew drowned while training. Her second crew drowned while training. Her third crew was successful, if just as unfortunate. They drowned, but succeeded in sinking their target, the sloop USS Housatonic.
From the time of the Hunley to today’s Victoria, submariners are a breed apart, as they accept the inherent risks in their profession while serving their nations’ interests.