Things you should have done if you captained the SSRN Seaview.

speculation by: GF Willmetts

You know how it is, you’re watching the ‘Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea’ DVDs and wonder why didn’t they show more common-sense with the dangers they faced.

Although it would be a bit difficult to change a show that is some forty-five years old now, the problems indicated should be used as a template should the series be resurrected.

Voyage to the bottom of the sea.
When America ruled below the waves…
  1. Not to be surprised by any menace that comes along. After all, after four years, what would really surprise you? You’ve seen everything from ghosts to pirates to aquatic monsters.
  2. All search parties should be in pairs, not alone. Too easy to get yourself killed.
  3. It would make sense to have cameras and heat sensors in all the corridors if not vital rooms, like Circuitry, Engineering and Missile Rooms, including that elusive and never seen forward one apart from in ‘Nightmare’. It would also save lives by doing so. These places should also be on constant guard when ‘visitors’ are on-board or the submarine invaded. Guard detail should not be excluded when visitors attend sleeping quarters, head/toilet or showers.
  4. Checking the air vents should be statutory, especially for hiding crew. The Seaview has a crew of between 120-125. On an 8 hour shift, that means 40 are on-call all the time, 40 are doing things recreationally and 40 asleep. There are 6, plus the radio operator, on duty on the control room at all times. Granted TV budgets wouldn’t show them all, then or now, but where are those eighty crew at general quarters? Even with the spacious Seaview, you would think there would be more crew running about.
  5. Considering the turbulence the Seaview experiences, anything that is loose should be properly secured at all times, especially in Admiral Nelson’s laboratory.
  6. Beware of the people giving you orders if they don’t seem reasonable and especially if they are out of uniform.
  7. As crew, your priority is to ensure that the Seaview is seaworthy and not stuck at the bottom of the sea. Not a good part of the voyage. Being part of the Damage Control crew is actually a very good way to stay alive.
  8. Respect your unseen repair crew who do fantastic work under pressure and never appear temperamental with the speed they are asked to repair anything.
  9. As officers, ensure you are not sleeping on the job. Other than the admiral, captain, executive officer and operations officer/boatswain’s mate chief, the other officers always seem to be missing or absent.
  10. Always remember, the Flying Sub cannot take off while you’re on the seabed.
  11. A different microphone system needs to be fitted on the Flying Sub if for no other reason than to taking one hand off the dual controls while in trouble.
  12. The same applies to the diving parties, if only to explain how they can talk with a mouthpiece covering their mouths. Try it for yourself with a large object in your mouth and talk normally.
  13. If you can feel the temperature rising outside the Seaview, be warned that the water in the ballast tanks are equally boiling and being turned to steam and needs to be vented lest like all thermos, the tanks deflate, inflate or explode.
  14. If the captain orders something followed by ‘full’, he doesn’t mean ‘fool’ and that you’re an idiot. Just obey the order and don’t wonder why the engine controls aren’t in the control room.
  15. Be grateful that you have an Executive office like Commander Morton who is never phased when under pressure. Use him as your template for self-control.


That is all.


My thanks to Dean ‘Dino’ Giangregorio (MCPO, USCG, Ret.) for his comments on the realistic possibilities of the above although he isn’t responsible for my interpretation.


© GF Willmetts 2012

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Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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