Largest Submarine in the World Sinks in Denmark

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On August 10, the largest privately built submarine in the world reportedly sank near Copenhagen, Denmark.

What happened?

The largest submarine ‘Nautilus’ sank at Kastrup Havn, Copenhagen, Denmark. The owner and builder of u-boat, 46 year old Danish entrepreneur and inventor Peter Madsen, jumped into water and survived ordeal.

Sequence of events:

Around 3:30 am on Friday, the Copenhagen Police received a call from Denmark’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) indicating that the Nautilus had not returned from what was supposed to be a trial run.

Owner ran into technical issues:

About 7 hours later, a harbormaster reported spotting the submarine passing Drogden Lighthouse, in Køge Bay, well south of Copenhagen’s harbor. Madsen spoke with the harbormaster, via radio, indicating that he was headed for the harbor. When asked why he had not been in contact with the harbor, he cited technical issues.

Rescue by a private motor boat:

But the submarine never made it back to the harbor. According to the police report, “At 11.00 the submarine suddenly sank and the owner was subsequently rescued on a private motorboat sailing near him in port.”

Ballast tank issue causes submarine to sink:

After being rescued, Madsen told that, “a minor problem with a ballast tank turned into a major issue. The ballast tank, which holds air or water to vary the submarine’s buoyancy, apparently filled with water unexpectedly. The Nautilus’ hatches were open, so as the sub started to submerge it began to flood”. Madsen also added that,”The sub was gone in 30 seconds. If he had been below decks instead of in the small mast of the sub, he would have been killed”. It has been specified that no other person had been on the Submarine when it sank. The Nautilus has been located by the Denmark navy and will be retrieved soon.

Specs on Nautilus:

UC3 NAUTILUS is a submarine built by Copenhagen Suborbitals, an open source non-profit organisation and built in 2008, tonnage 40 GT, length 18 meters, crew 4-8, propulsion diesel engine and electric motor.

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Source: Gizmodo

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