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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Life in a Submarine: Vizag Submarine Museum

Life under water is completely different from life on the ground. Having seen submarines only in movies, the submarine museum in Vizag was a good opportunity to get close experience of what it takes to spend a life deep down the ocean, several months at a stretch.
submarine-museum  front-view-submarine-museum
Vishakapattanam (Vizag) is one of the very few places where you can find a submarine museum. The one present on RK Beach (Ramakrishna Beach) was the first of its kind in Asia.
torpedoesmines
INS (Indian Navy Ship) Kursura S20 is the name of this submarine, which was purchased from Russia and commissioned in Dec 1969 and was operational till 2001. After its decommissioning, it was pulled to the shore, converted into a museum and is now available for public on the shores of Vizag’s RK Beach.
valves-and-controls  gauges-levers main-compartmentpropeller
INS Kursura was one of the several submarines India bought from USSR. These submarines were supposed to have a life of 20 years, out of which 50% of the time they had to be kept idle, for refits or otherwise. More technical details here.

Once inside the Submarine, we were shown the torpedoes, the main weapon in a submarine. We’re told it can carry about 24 of them, I felt that is a very small number for a 3 month assignment. Mines were another kind of weapons carried. Inside of the submarine is full of controls, valves, gauges, displays, meters and so on. Kitchen, barracks, toilets, control rooms and everything had to be accommodated in as little space as possible.  The submarine is over 90 meters in length and powered by 3 diesel engines, of 2000 HP each (1 of them is kept on standby).   
dining-roomexecutive-officerescape-suite
The submarine could house 75 crew members and could go till a depth of 280 meters. If it dives further down, the body may not be able to withstand the pressure of water outside. Each one has a role to play. There’s no concept of taking a shower inside. Disposable cloths are used. Water is a precious resource and used only for drinking and cooking. There’re provisions to convert sea water into consumable water, but used only as last resort. Once into water, the submarine would take about 2-3 months before returning to base. The duration will be even longer, in case of war. Everyday is a weekday.

Once underwater, its all about outsmarting the enemy. Intercepting enemy communications, while communicating with one’s own base in a way that couldn’t be intercepted by others, destroying enemy ships and vessels while protecting one’s own submarine from behind hit are all part of daily routine.

Related: Scuba Diving in Netrani * Amet cruises- Package, price and other details * Bura caves *

Read this 2013 post on Swedish Submarine U3 * Operating Instructions for Submarine toilets

10 comments :

Kavitha said...

Nicely written with good points! :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Kavitha, but I feel i could have written the description better.. composed this post in a hurry and in not so creative mood...

Mridula said...

The place sounds so interesting.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Mridula

So you now know where to go during Commonwealth games vacation...

Logesh TamilSelvan said...

nice article,
heard India has only 15 submarines in operation.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Logesh

Yes, the number is somewhere around that only...

Sankara Subramanian C said...

Great to see the interiors in your post. When I was there, it was closed as Monday was the weekly holiday. Only got to see it from the outside.

Anonymous said...

Nice post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

Nona said...

HI Shrindhi

I am planning to visit this museum end of the year. Wondering if there is any official website for submarine museum? Is it opened at night.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Its not open at night. Its also closed on MOndays...

Open from 10AM to 6PM I guess

Not aware of official website