The greatest threats to a submerged submarine are fire and flooding. Although
the threats rarely materialize, submariners have a wide range of equipment
to combat them and conduct regular drills.
(Oxygen Breathing Apparatus)
Fire and smoke are among the most feared hazards in a submarine. The OBA
is an emergency device designed to allow crewmen to breathe and see during
damage control for fires or other "casualties." The full face mask connects
with tubes to the apparatus hanging on the crewmanis chest. Pulling the
cord lights a "candle," which initially generates oxygen; then other chemicals
in the small green canister remove carbon dioxide and generate oxygen.
Typically, 15 OBAs are located around the boat, allowing mobility and
flexibility in responding to emergencies. Other crew members rely on emergency
breathing masks (EABs), which can be connected to manifolds located throughout
the ship to provide breathable air.
Ships throughout the U.S. Navy, including submarines, use high-pressure
steam, and they all carry steam suits. Should a steam pipe spring
a leak, the suits protect crewmen from scalding while they make emergency
Tool Roll (Red), Bolt Cutter, and Spill Kit Roll (Purple)
Damage control tool rolls, bolt cutters, and spill kits are located throughout
the boat for emergencies. Tool rolls contain equipment for repairing ruptured
piping or leaks. Bolt cutters can be used to cut away damaged equipment.
Spill kits provide the gear to contain and remove radioactive water from
an accidental spill or leak.