Off Portsmouth, NH Submarine SQUALUS Trapped, May 1939
SUB. TRAPPED OFF LOCAL HARBOR
RESCUE BOATS RUSH TO AID OF SQUALUS 240 FEET BELOW THE SURFACE.
SIXTY-TWO MEN ABOARD CRAFT WHICH TOOK PRACTICE DIVE AT 8:40 THIS MORNING AND WAS UNABLE TO COME TO SURFACE.
The submarine SQUALUS is trapped 240 feet below the surface of the ocean, outside of Portsmouth harbor, where it has been since 8:40 o'clock this morning.
The submarine was carrying on routine diving operations and when it was due to appear on the surface, no report had been received. The commandant of the navy yard, Rear Admiral C. W. COLE, U.S.N., directed the U.S. SCULPIN to proceed to the scene of the operations to attempt to establish communication with the SQUALUS.
A red smoke bomb was sighted, which indicated that the SQUALUS needed assistance. A few minutes later the SCULPIN observed a marker buoy and within a short time contacted the commanding officer of the SQUALUS by telephone.
The telephone communication brought out that during the diving operation one of the openings, a high-induction valve, was not completely closed, admitting considerable water to the ship and that before she would be able to come to the surface the opening valve must be closed from the outside.
A message from the ship, received at the navy yard, stated that the crew's compartment and the after engine room had been flooded.
There are six officers, 51 men and five civilian officials aboard the distressed vessel.
The submarine made its first dive at 8:40 this morning and was due to the surface an hour later. The first contact was made at 12:14 this noon. The vessel is in 240 feet of water, and a diver will have to descend in order to close the high induction valve.
The U.S. FALCON, submarine rescue ship is enroute from New London and the U.S. WANDANK, a sea-going tug, is enroute from Provincetown.