A Day In The Life Of A Submariner

By Jack Clark 10 months ago

05:00am: Conduct Pre-Shift Checks

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Submariners have a pretty early start every day. Starting work at 5am? No thanks. Someone has got to do it though! They start off with routine and thorough inspections of critical equipment and systems including sonar and propulsion. Safety is paramount when working on a submarine, so potential issues and problems need to be identified quickly.

5:15am: Assist With Navigation

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In order for a submarine to be successful in its mission, it must have a precise course to follow. The submariners next job will be to work with the officers on board to plot routes and maintain the ships course. They do this via advanced technology such as GPS and charts, along with other sophisticated instruments to ensure their accuracy.

5:35am: Monitor And Operate Various Controls

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Submarines aren't exactly known for being easy to operate. They take an entire team of experts to get them to work successfully, and each person has a vital job. A submariners next job will be to maintain constant vigilance over the various control panels and operating systems aboard the submarine. The management of these systems ensures a smooth mission.

6:05am: Conduct Routine Maintenance

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Operational readiness is super important for submarines, and submariners keep up a high level of routine maintenance onboard the ship, before and during missions. The next job of a submariner is to perform checks on the mechanical and electrical systems. Thorough checks lead to quick identification of issues which lead into sufficient and efficient solutions.

6:17am: Operate And Maintain Sonar Systems

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Sonar can identify potential threats along with nearby vessels, and it is possibly the most important tool that a submarine has at its disposal. A lot of a submariners day is taken up with operating and maintaining the sonar system, interpreting acoustic data to distinguish between friend and foe. Sonar also allows the submarine to stay undetected.

6:33am: Keep Watch And Maintain Awareness

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The next job a Submariner must do on board is keep watch for surface and underwater threats. They do this through periscopes and sonar technology, scanning their immediate environment for crucial information. Submariners spend long hours on submarines, but it is important they stay vigilant and focused to make sure they keep the submarine and its crew safe.

7:02am: Manage And Operate Comms Systems

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Communication is important in any job, but it is absolutely vital for a submariner. In fact, clear and concise communication is actually a lifeline when it comes to underwater operations, and they can't complete their work without it. A skilled submariner will be an expert in communication with their onboard crew along with other vessels.

08:00am: It's Drill Time!

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Remember those fire alarm drills you'd have to do at school? They all seemed so trivial at the time. However, a submariner will be used to daily drills and training sessions to keep them on their toes with different situations they might encounter. Because of their constant training and involvement in a hard job, a submariners ability to operate and thrive in a high-pressure environment is second to none.

09:00am: Manage Life Support Systems

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When your job involves being surrounded by extreme conditions like the deep sea, life support systems are of paramount importance and ensuring they are running correctly is a submariners main priority. Life support systems include the air circulation, temperature control and gas levels, all of which are vital to the success and of the submarine.

10:00am: Conduct Safety Inspections

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Submariners will have loads of cool stories if you get talking to one, and they'll easily be the most interesting person at a bar. However, submariners wouldn't be around to tell their tales if it wasn't for their expert safety checks. A submariner will routinely check everything on board to make sure everything is in working order, maintaining a safe environment for everyone on the submarine.

11:00am: Load And Unload Torpedoes

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During peacetime, submarines rarely have to engage in combat, but that doesn't mean they don't stay ready. Things can take a turn for the worse at any given moment, and submariners have to remain primed to strike when needed. Submariners will routinely take part in the unloading and loading of the submarines weapon systems, ensuring they're ready to be used in any situation.

12:00pm: Lunchtime!

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Yep, you heard that right! Even submariners will get a lunch break. Whilst their lunch breaks might not be as luxurious as all of us land-dwellers (they definitely don't have access to an underwater Starbucks, not Iced Latte's for our seaborne friends), they still need a bit of time on their shift to relax and reset ready for the the rest of their busy day.

12:30pm: Check Reactor And Propulsion Systems

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Straight from lunch break, submariners are thrown straight back into their important and often life-saving duties. Nuclear-powered submarines rely entirely on their reactor and propulsion systems in order to move beneath the waves, and a submariner will be an expert in monitoring, testing and diagnosing potential issues, making this one of the most important jobs on the submarine.

13:00pm: Update The Log

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We all kept diaries when we were kids, and some of us still do now, but imagine having to keep a detailed diary of everything that has happened in a day, every single day. This is exactly what submariners have to do - keep a log of observations, activity and events that occurred during the shift. These details provide the higher command staff with valuable information relevant to future mission planning.

13:15pm: Deploy And Retrieve Underwater Sensors

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Submarines are sophisticated machines and they're equipped with all sorts of high-tech gear that helps the submariners complete each mission. These devices include underwater drones and monitoring devices which are critical for gathering information to report back up their chain of command. Submariners are experts in deploying and operation these devices.

13:45pm: Check Fire Control Systems

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A military submarine is useless without offensive capabilities, and a submariner must be well-versed when it comes to operating its weapons. The firing systems, including target acquisition and weapon guidance technology, must be in an optimal condition at all points throughout a mission, and it is the submariners job to test and maintain these to ensure perfect working order.

14:10pm: Stand Watch On The Periscope

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That's right, submarines still have periscopes! Now, they're a lot more advanced nowadays compared to what you see in old war movies, but their function remains the exact same. Submariners take turns standing watch on the periscope, scanning the surface and observing the surrounding areas for potential threats or points of interest.

15:00pm: Manage Waste Procedures

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Possibly the least glamorous task on a submarine, but a vital one that must be completed with the utmost skill and care. There isn't exactly a whole lost of space on a submarine, and keeping the submarine in a liveable and clean atmosphere is super important. A submariner will be an expert in proper waste disposal and recycling, ensuring pristine condition of their underwater home.

15:30pm: Check Food Supplies

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Submariners can often be at sea for a long time, and making sure there is enough food supplies for everyone on board requires careful and meticulous planning. A submariner will take part in daily food and water supply checks, ensuring that there are adequate provisions for the whole crew for the remainder of the mission. You don't want to go hungry 900m underwater!

16:00pm: Communicate With Other Vessels

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As mentioned, communication is paramount when on a submarine, and submariners take this part of the job incredibly seriously. A submarine must constantly be in contact and communicating with other vessels. Whether that be other subs or the battleships, communication here is key. They can share mission critical information and even call for help if they're in a bad situation.

16:30pm: Maintain Cleanliness Of Submarine

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Remember how annoying it was when our Mom's used to constantly tell us to clean our rooms? Well, if those memories have scarred you, becoming a submariner probably isn't for you. Submariners are tasked with maintaining an incredibly high level of cleanliness about the submarine, making sure that communal spaces and individual quarters are kept clean as a whistle.

17:00pm: Shift is over!

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After a long 12 hour shift it is now time to relax, grab some food and hang out with your crew mates. Submariners often complete their work in shifts, and when one shift has finished another has started. For those who've just finished their shift, they often hang out in the communal rooms, discussing events of the day and having a laugh. Then it's time to get some sleep so they're ready for the next day.

Conduct Security Procedures

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Before submariners embark on another mission and get aboard the submarine, it's of vital importance that the security and access control procedures are locked down. Only authorized personnel can board a submarine, and submariners take this very seriously. They also have to make sure that unauthorized personnel on board do not access restricted areas.

Test Onboard Water Quality

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Before leaving for the mission, it's important that submariners check and test the onboard water quality. Submariners can often be underwater for up to four months at a time, so running out of water isn't an option. Most submarines have a device that takes in sea water and purifies it, making it drinkable for its crew. Submariners are experts and ensuring the smooth operation of their water system.

Assist With Equipment Repairs

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Submarines are built to operate in the harsh environment of the sea, but it doesn't mean that everything runs smoothly all the time. The submarine will experience a lot of pressure because of how deep it is, and equipment often needs to be tested and repaired if it's damaged. Submariners are experts in diagnosing problems and finding quick and efficient solutions to ensure the integrity of the mission

Test Equipment

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Even when there isn't anything wrong with the equipment, the submariners will still be testing the submarines equipment on a daily basis. A lot of the reason that their equipment rarely fails is BECAUSE of their constant and diligent testing. Submariners can accurately predict how their equipment will fair because they make sure that they test it daily.

Manage Submarine Depth

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Submarines can operate at low depths, but even these beasts have their limits. A submariner must constantly be monitoring the submarines depth and buoyancy to ensure that its limits aren't being pushed too hard. Not only is this because of safety, but they also use different depths for stealth and remaining hidden and undetected when in enemy territory.

Check Electrical Systems

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Electricity on board a submarine is important to keep going as it powers a number of systems that are vital for the submarines operations. Submariners are skilled in performing routine checks of voltage levels, battery levels and the general functionality of electrical equipment on board. If any of the electrical systems on board fail, they need to be sorted as quickly as possible.

Launch And Recover Small Crafts

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A submarine has many different small crafts attached to it which assist the submariners in various missions and operations. Each submariner is skilled in operating and maintaining these small crafts, which include divers' platforms, mini-subs and reconnaissance drones. It is of vital importance that there are launched and recovered safely, and can be the difference in how successful a mission is.

Check Submarine Hull Integrity

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The hull of a submarine is the single most important part and its integrity must be constantly monitored and checked. The hull protects the submarine from the immense pressure of the deep sea and is what keeps the entire submarine from imploding and killing everyone on board. Each submariner is an expert at checking for wear and tear or any serious damage that could impede the success of the hull.