Submarine escape training facility

A Submarine Escape Training Tower is part of a facility used for training submariners in methods of emergency escape from a disabled submarine. It is a tall cylinder filled with water with several entrances at varying depths each simulating an airlock in a submarine. Since the 1930s, towers have been built for use by the Royal Navy, US Navy, Royal Australian Navy and in several other countries.

Submarine Escape Training Tower from the outside
The outside of the Royal Navy Submarine Escape Training Tower

Royal Navy SETT

SETT pooltop
Top of the SETT pool
SETT Divers
Divers in the SETT

50°47′15″N 1°07′02.28″W / 50.78750°N 1.1173000°W

The Submarine Escape Training Tank (SETT) is a 100-foot (30 m) deep facility primarily operated to conduct training with submarine escape equipment, operated by the Royal Navy.[1][2] The facility, located at Fort Blockhouse, Gosport opposite HMNB Portsmouth,[3] includes a fresh, chlorinated water column with a single escape chamber (as fitted to some classes of RN submarines) mounted at the base, through which students can conduct a fully representative escape cycle from 100 feet (30 m), closely replicating actions which would be required if forced to abandon a distressed submarine from depth. The SETT has its own dedicated boiler house to maintain its water temperature at 34 °C (94 °F).[3] The SETT was commissioned in 1954, with the first students trained in July of that year. Since that time completion of ‘the Tank’ has been a rite of passage for all RN Submariners. Training includes ascents from increasing depths as a major element, but in addition is underpinned by lectures and practical training in how to survive within a disabled submarine, operation of emergency equipment and survival techniques on reaching the surface – a package of potentially life saving skills. Over the years, the SETT has been used to train submariners from Italy, USA, Greece, Canada, Israel, Russia, Venezuela, Turkey, Australia and the Netherlands – with the staff and facility enjoying a worldwide reputation for excellence and good practice.[4] Owing to a combination of increased safety associated with modern submarine design, submarines operating in areas where escape would be impossible with current equipment and the risk associated with the conduct of training, the RN discontinued pressurised submarine escape training in March 2009.

The staff at RNSETT are drawn from the ranks of the UK Submarine Service. All members of SETT staff form part of the SMERAT (Submarine Escape and Rescue Advisory Team),[5] some members form the UK SPAG (Submarine Parachute Assistance Group),[6] and some form part of the UK contribution to the NSRS (LR5) Team.[7] All staff are trained in advanced life-saving techniques and diving medicine.

Other uses

Pearl Harbor Submarine Escape Trainer
At, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

The tower was also privately hired to civilian diving clubs for the purpose of recreational diving and dive training. It was a popular 'novelty' dive amongst UK SCUBA divers since it allowed new trainees to extend their depth experience in a safe, controlled environment with good visibility and warm water temperature – two conditions that are in short supply in the UK. For similar reasons it was also used for freediving training, with participants including world record-holder Tanya Streeter.[8] In addition, the SETT has been used frequently for both underwater equipment testing, and to support media activity – notably hosting Blue Peter on a number of occasions, with some presenters completing ascent training. It has also been used frequently as a Situation Assessment Trials Tank (SATT) for Technical Divers.

Other facilities

US Navy escape towers were known as Escape Training Tanks. From the 1930s through the 1990s they were used for training in buoyant ascent, the Momsen lung, and the Steinke hood. The decommissioned tower on Ford Island, Hawaii, was built to train United States Navy Pacific Fleet submariners prior to World War II, and was converted for use as an airport control tower after the attack on Pearl Harbor.[9] Across the harbor, the tower on Sub-Base Pearl Harbor was used between 1932 and 1983. Neither of the U.S. escape towers in Hawaii are in use. The towers were also used to train SCUBA equipped divers (SEALs) or Underwater Demolition Teams to access or egress the submarine during Special Operations. The tower once located on Naval Submarine Base New London was in use between 1930 and 1994 and has since been razed. The Submarine Escape Trainer, a 40-foot (12 m) high, 84,000-gallon pool with two escape trunks was constructed at New London in 2007.[10]

Similar facilities are operated by the Royal Australian Navy at the Submarine Escape Training Facility at HMAS Stirling,[11] and in Norway, Sweden and Turkey at Gölcük Naval Base.[12] The German Navy operates a 36-metre-deep escape training pool, built in 1977, at Einsatzausbildungszentrum Schadensabwehr Marine (Damage Control Training Centre) in Neustadt in Holstein.[13]


  1. ^ Elliott, D (1999). "A short history of submarine escape: The development of an extreme air dive". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal. 29 (2). ISSN 0813-1988. OCLC 16986801. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  2. ^ House CM, House JR, Oakley EH (2000). "Findings from a simulated disabled submarine survival trial". Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. 27 (4): 175–83. PMID 11419357. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  3. ^ a b "Submarine Escape Training Tank". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
  4. ^ Callow, Ian (2006). "Submarine Escape Training". Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  5. ^ "ATP-57" (PDF). NATO. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
  6. ^ "Submarine Parachute Assistance Group (SPAG)". Royal Navy. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
  7. ^ "NATO Submarine Rescue System". Royal Navy. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
  8. ^ Farrell, Emma (2006) One Breath: A Reflection on Freediving, photographs by Frederic Buyle, Pynto Ltd., Hatherley, UK: ISBN 0-9542315-2-X
  9. ^ Cole, William (2005-12-06). "Ford Island museum will focus on attack". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  10. ^ Howland, Robert (2 November 2007). "Construction Complete on Unique Submarine Escape Trainer at SUBASE New London". United States Navy. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  11. ^ Davidson, Jon; Allibone, Tom (2005). Beneath Southern Seas. Crawley, WA: University of Western Australia Press. pp. 165–9. ISBN 1-920694-62-5. OCLC 69242056.
  12. ^ "Submarine Escape Training Tank". Turkish Navy. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Tauchtopf". German Navy. Retrieved 28 April 2011.

External links

2013 Australia Day Honours

The Australia Day Honours 2013 were announced on 26 January 2013 by the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce.

The Australia Day Honours, the first major honours list for a calendar year, are announced on Australia Day (26 January) every year, with the other being the Queen's Birthday Honours which are announced on the second Monday in June.

† indicates an award given posthumously.

Aharon Solomons

Aharon Solomons (né Ernest Henry Child Simpson; born 27 September 1939) is an Anglo-Israeli former Army officer, and sportsman who holds the Israeli national record for freediving.

Alessia Zecchini

Alessia Zecchini (born 30 June 1992, Rome, Italy) is an Italian freediver who set world and Italian records in free diving.

Australia–India relations

Australia–India relations are the foreign relations between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Republic of India. Before independence, Australia and India were both part of the British Empire. Both are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. They also share political, economic, security, lingual and sporting ties. As a result of British colonisation, cricket has emerged as a strong cultural connection between the two nations, as well as the English language. Military cooperation between Australia and India includes the regular joint naval exercise AUSINDEX.

Danai Varveri

Danai Varveri (Greek: Δανάη Βαρβέρη; Δανάης Βαρβέρη) is a Greek freediver, mostly known for her world record dive in 1999 to 40 meters (132 feet) without a mask, fins or suit, in the (later established) discipline of constant weight without fins, in 71 seconds. The dive also marked the inauguration of the Big Blue Games, a free diving competition to be held annually in Spetses, Greece, with the cooperation of the Mayor of Spetses and with the participation of free diving champions from all over the world. This specific dive and some of its circumstances has been the basis of the movie The Freediver.

Dave Mullins (freediver)

Dave Mullins is a New Zealand freediver and world record-holder.

On 21 September 2007 Dave set a new world record in Dynamic apnea breaking the old record by 1 m, creating a new world record of 226 m in a time of 3:38. The old record of 225 m was held by Stig Severinsen. On 23 September 2007 Dave broke his own record by 18 m setting a new world record of 244 m in a time of 4:02.

In August 2008 Dave equalled the world record for Dynamic No Fins, which he hold until September 2010 jointly with Tom Sietas of Germany at 213m. Then, on Monday 27 September 2010 Mullins executed a clean DNF swim of 218 meters on a single breath to stake his claim as the sole world record holder. Dave's record-setting 218m DNF dive took 4 minutes and 11 seconds. Dave also holds the New Zealand national record in this discipline at 232m (it's his personal best, though not registered as a world record).

On 10 September 2008 during the Sharm 2008 Freediving World championships, Dave once again broke his own Dynamic world record and set the new WR at 248m. This has since been surpassed by Alexey Molchanov of Russia, who held the record at 250m. Mullins surpassed this with a 265-meter swim while holding his breath for 4:01 on 25 September 2010.Dave has also set the New Zealand record in the Constant Weight discipline, diving to 108m in April 2008 at the Vertical Blue Invitational, Long Island, Bahamas.

Devrim Cenk Ulusoy

Devrim Cenk Ulusoy (born 2 January 1973) is a Turkish World record holder free-diver. Currently, he performs his underwater sport activities for Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi Su Altı Sporları Kulübü (Middle East Technical University Underwater Sports Club).

Dynamic apnea

Dynamic apnea covers two of the eight competitive freediving categories recognised by the AIDA International (International Association for Development of Apnea): dynamic with fins (DYN) and dynamic without fins (DNF). Both disciplines require breath held dives where the diver travels in a horizontal position under water under their own power without aid/physical contact of a static surface, with the exception of the pool wall when done indoors. The records can only be recognized in pools of 25m or greater.

When diving in the dynamic without fins category, divers will usually prefer the shorter 25m pools, so they can take advantage of the wall-kick. However, when diving in the dynamic with fins category, divers will usually prefer the longer 50m pools, so the wall-turn will not slow them down.

The other categories recognized are: static apnea, no limit, variable weight, free immersion, constant weight, constant weight without fins,

Enzo Maiorca

Enzo Maiorca (21 June 1931 – 13 November 2016) was an Italian free diver who held several world records.

HMAS Stirling

HMAS Stirling is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base that is part of fleet Base West situated on the west coast of Australia. The base is located on Garden Island in the state of Western Australia, near the city of Perth. Garden Island also has its own military airport on the island (ICAO: YGAD). HMAS Stirling is currently under the command of Captain Brian Delamont, RAN.

Herbert Nitsch

Herbert Nitsch (born 20 April 1970) is an Austrian freediver who has held world records in all of the eight freediving disciplines recognised by AIDA International. He is the current freediving world record champion and “the deepest man on earth”. This title was given to him when he set a world record in the "No Limits" discipline at the depth of 214 meters (702 feet). To date, he has achieved 33 official World Records across all freediving disciplines, and one world record in the traditional Greek discipline of Skandalopetra 107 m (351 ft). He surpassed his own No Limits depth with a dive in June 2012 to 253.2 meters (831 feet), suffering injury in the process.

Kate Middleton (free-diver)

Kate Middleton (born December 23, 1987 in Canada) is the current New Zealand record holder in the free immersion discipline (FIM) and constant weight with fins (CWT). She is the 3rd deepest woman in the world and Vice World Champion Freediver. She owns a Yoga and Freediving resort in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia where she trains and teaches.

Nicholas Mevoli

Nicholas Lawrence "Nick" Mevoli III (22 August 1981 - 17 November 2013) was an American freediver who died while attempting to set an American record at the Vertical Blue competition at Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas.Mevoli was born in Dunedin, Florida, and lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. He worked as a prop technician in the film and television industry in New York, including on The CW series Gossip Girl and the Comedy Central series Chappelle's Show. He was also an actor, technician and writer with Rising Sun Performance Company, and starred in the 2004 independent film exist.Mevoli began free-diving competitively in early 2012. He twice won titles at the Deja Blue competition and finished third at the Caribbean Cup in Roatán, Honduras. He achieved an American record in the Caribbean Cup on May 27, 2013, with a dive to 100 meters in the Constant Weight (CWT) category. He finished third in the Constant Weight Without Fins (CNF) category at the free-diving world championships in Greece in September 2013.On 15 November 2013, Mevoli attempted to reach a depth of 96 metres (315 ft) in the Free Immersion (FIM) category at Vertical Blue, but had to turn back at 80 metres (260 ft) after suffering an upper respiratory squeeze. On 17 November Mevoli attempted a CNF dive to 72 metres (236 ft) on a single breath. He began to turn back at 68 metres (223 ft), but appeared to change his mind and dived downward again. Mevoli returned to the surface after 3 minutes and 38 seconds underwater, but fell backwards into the ocean and lost consciousness. Safety divers and the event physician attempted to revive Mevoli, whose pulse disappeared. After resuscitation efforts had continued for 90 minutes, he was transported to Vid Simms Memorial Health Center, reportedly suffering from pulmonary edema. Mevoli died at 1:44 p.m. He was the first athlete to die in an international free-diving competition.The New York Times published a photograph of Mevoli taken just after his return to the surface from his last dive and shortly before he lost consciousness. Some readers questioned the ethics of publishing the photograph.

Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service

The Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service is the collective name of the submarine element of the Royal Australian Navy. The service currently forms the Navy's Submarine Force Element Group (FEG) and consists of six Collins class submarines.

The Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service has been established four times, with the initial three attempts being foiled by combat losses and Australia's economic problems. The modern Submarine Service was established in 1964, and has formed an important element of the Australian military's capacity since that date. While the Submarine Service has not seen combat since World War I, Australian submarines have conducted extensive surveillance operations throughout South East Asia.

The current Director General Submarine Capability is Commodore G.J. Sammut, CSC, RAN.


Setf or SETF may refer to:

Social Exclusion Task Force

Southeast Toyota Finance, a division of JM Family Enterprises

State Employees and Teachers Federation

setf, a special form in Common Lisp and Lisp that uses its first argument to define a place in memory then evaluates its second argument and stores the returned value at the memory location

Submarine escape training facility

Submarine Escape Training Facility (Australia)

Syrian Emergency Task Force

Skandalopetra diving

Skandalopetra diving dates from ancient Greece, when it was used by sponge fishermen, and has been re-discovered in recent years as a freediving discipline. It was in this discipline that the first world record in freediving was registered, when the Greek sponge fisherman Stathis Chantzis dived to a depth of 83 m. It consists of a variable ballast dive using a skandalopetra tied to a rope. A companion on a boat recovers the diver by pulling the rope up after the descent, and keeps a watch on the diver from the surface.

Static apnea

Static apnea (STA) is a discipline in which a person holds their breath (apnea) underwater for as long as possible, and need not swim any distance. Static apnea is defined by the International Association for Development of Apnea (AIDA International) and is distinguished from the Guinness World Record for breath holding underwater, which allows the use of oxygen in preparation. It requires that the respiratory tract be immersed, with the body either in the water or at the surface, and may be performed in a pool or open water (sea, lake, river, etc.). Static apnea is the only AIDA International discipline measuring duration, and one of the three disciplines considered for the international competitions by team, with constant weight and dynamic with fins.

Beta blockers (doping in sport of freediving; prolong every type of apnea by reducing heart rate, blood pressure and cardiac output) can prolong static apnea for up to 20%.

Submarine Escape Training Facility (Australia)

The Submarine Escape Training Facility (SETF), also known as the Submarine Escape and Rescue Centre (SERC), is a facility used by submariners of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to train in the techniques needed to escape from a submarine in trouble.

Vertical Blue

Vertical Blue is a freediving competition which has been held annually in The Bahamas at Dean's Blue Hole since April 2008 by freediving world record holder William Trubridge. It is an AIDA International judged competition and has been the venue for multiple world and national records for athletes coming from countries all over the world.

On November 17, 2013, American freediver Nicholas Mevoli died after attempting to set an American record during a Vertical Blue competition at Dean's Blue Hole.Vertical Blue is also the name of the freediving school operated by William Trubridge at Dean's Blue Hole.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.