HMS Astute Escapex 2012

CPO Ian (Curly) Callow

CPO Ian (Curly) Callow


Located in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, Lochgoilhead sits at the head of Loch Goil, a fjord type sea loch. On a cold winter morning in Loch goil the staff of the Submarine Escape Training Tank situated in Gosport prepare to conduct a Hooded ascent from HMS Astute. The date is the 14th December 2012 and the crew of HMS Astute prepare to dive to a predetermined depth (27.9 metres). HMS Astute is a nuclear powered submarine that has a reliable and effective escape system fitted onboard. Astute is fitted with a two man escape tower (Logistic Escape Tower) aft and an FET (Forard Escape Tower) forard. SETT staff and members of the crew from HMS Vigilant successfully escaped from an LET in 2003, nobody had ever escaped from an FET and the purpose of these trials were to prove the escape system onboard HMS Astute.

Equipment The SEIE (Submarine Escape Immersion Equipment).

The process Each escapee will zip down their hood fully, climb into the tower and the lower lid will be shut by the support team within the submarine. When the escapee is ready he will plug his suit into the air supply, this air will provide a continuos supply of air to breath and also provide the buoyancy within the suit that will enable the escapee to reach the surface safely. The escapee must remain plugged into the air supply whilst the tower is flooded and continue to equalise his ears with the increasing pressure rise. When the pressure within the tower is equal with the external sea pressure the upper lid will open and the escapee will start his ascent to the surface. During the ascent the escapee will continue to breath normally all the way to the surface.

Runs conducted during the trial 12 straight runs A single person will enter the tower, all valve movements will be controlled by the crew from within the submarine.

 4 last man out A single person will enter the tower, all valve movements will be controlled by the escapee from within the tower.

Water Temperature 11°C @ 30 metres / 4°C @ Surface Air Temperature 3°C / Wind chill factor -8°C


Lt Cdr Tregunna Lt Ziolo Coxn Hiles Po Ross
CPO Callow CPO Bean CPO Douglas PO Yarnold
CPO Whittaker CPO Charlesworth CPO Stevenson

Support staff

WO Harvey CPO Spanner LET Coombes
POMA Organ LMA Mason LMA Petter
WO Duncan

Source – Astute Escapex

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