Daily Event for May 30

May 30, 1943 the HMS Untamed P-58 sank off Campbelltown during a training mission. The Vickers built boat
was conducting an underwater target exercise with surface ships and simply failed to surface when expected.
Rescue operations began immediately but to no avail, by morning the next day the rescue had been called off.

On July 5 the Untamed was raised and it was determined that the cause of the sinking was due to a valve which
had been incorrectly installed giving a false reading to the crew, and when they opened an inner hatch to gain
access to the patent log, the sea poured into the boat with such pressure the crew had to abandon that compartment. From the investigation that followed it appears that carbon dioxide built up rapidly preventing
clear thinking by the crew. It is speculated that they spent almost four hours attempting to pump the water out
of the boat instead of trying to escape. (Even though they were signaled by the surface ships to do so.)

When they realized that they would not be able to raise the boat they moved to the engine room and began an
attempt to escape by flooding the compartment and using the internal pressure to force open the outer hatch.
Sadly a second valve now malfunctioned, this valve, again having been installed incorrectly, showed to be
open when it was closed. Nobody knows how much time it took the crew to determine why the engine room would not flood but, during this period someone opened another valve which, after the engine room began
taking on water, allowed much of it to enter the bilge adding to the time it would take to flood the engine room.

Because of the added time it took to flood the engine room the men, now overcome by oxygen depravation,
could no longer help themselves and they all lapsed into unconsciousness and died. Not one of the 36 man crew
made it out alive.

After Untamed was raised and rebuilt she was recommissioned as HMS Vitality and served through the rest of the war. HMS Vitality was scrapped in 1946.

© 2006 Michael W. Pocock

2005 Daily Event