Lessons From Tragedy: Could It Happen to a U.S. Sub?

Nothing so chills the U.S. Navy as an incoming cable sounding the alarm over a DISSUB--a disabled U.S. submarine--stranded somewhere on the ocean floor. That's why, following the loss of the U.S.S. Thresher in 1963 with 129 men aboard, the Navy launched its SUBSAFE program. It's designed to wring as much danger as possible out of the inherently risky business of prowling the world's oceans. The program isn't perfect. In 1968, the U.S.S. Scorpion went down, killing all 99 aboard. But those 228 Americans lost are fewer than half the number of Russians killed--excluding those who perished in the Kursk--while serving...

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