The Submarine Refreshment Bar

One section of Sir Robert H Davis’ classic work, ‘Deep Diving and Submarine Operations’ is devoted to Divers’ Yarns.

One such story concerns a diving operation to salvage the cargo of a sunken merchant vessel. Wearing standard diving dress, a number of divers were working inside the hold of the stricken vessel. One diver appeared to regularly encounter difficulties and always returned late to the surface. On each occasion he was seen to be unsteady on his feet and had slurred speech.

However, following a good night’s rest, he always appeared fit for work on the following morning. It soon became apparent that while he was sober prior to his descent, he always returned back to the surface in an obviously drunken state. On checking the cargo manifest, it was realised that the cargo included several crates of whisky.

Discovering this ‘treasure trove’, the diver took advantage of the pocket of air created by the exhaust bubbles from the divers’ helmets and would climb up onto a crate, unscrew his faceplate and – with sixty-plus feet of water above his head – slake his thirst from the supply of whisky.

The wonder is, that, in his inebriated state, he was capable of maintaining his balance and retaining his face-plate … and that he managed to replace it without drowning himself.

(Image from ‘Deep Diving And Submarine Operations’.)

Categories: History

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