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Canada Wants 'Submarine Escape Training' For Its Shitty Subs

It's supposed to be reassuring to Canadian sailors serving on rusting, crashing subs.

​If you're in the Royal Canadian Navy and needed more reasons to feel nervous before setting foot onto one of its aging Victoria Class Submarines—vessels known for sinking, rusting, and all around malfunctioning—never fear, the Canadian department of National Defence has you covered.

Yesterday it actually posted a request for proposals for a private firm to provide "Submarine Escape Training" to its underwater Victoria sub fleet, plagued by a series of crashes and mishaps.


When it comes to the Victoria Class subs in the Canadian Navy, accidents aren't a particularly errant concept, either. Already rich with a history of malfunctions, the subs have barely served in active situations since they were originally purchased for $500 million as hand-me-downs from the Brits in the 90s. In fact, its been quite the opposite.

"The Department of National Defence (DND) requires submarine escape training based on the Victoria Class submarines, on an "as and when requested" basis," reads the government RFP.

The training is intended to teach "new submarine students, serving submariners, and other selected Canadian or foreign government or military personnel," on what to do if the sub starts terrifyingly sinking to bottom of the ocean.

Let's face it, when it comes to those aging British subs, that's not out of the question. In 2004, a crew member tragically died in a fire on one of the subs, before another incident in 2011 when a different Victoria Class Submarine had an accident off the coast of Vancouver Island, injuring two crew members.

Peacetime death and injuries aside, these subs were already old at the time of purchase, but are still (even to this day) considered a "strategic asset" and "stealthy, lethal and persistent." And while only one of four Victoria subs is operational today—the government still said they "enjoy unparalleled freedom of action and independence to act at a time and place of the Government's choosing."

A DND spokesperson told me simply, "as indicated, the tender notice is for submarine escape training," when asked about the tender and the Victoria Class subs.

In the midst of pre-emptive training videos that almost seem to foreshadow disasters involving the Victoria subs, the government is also actively pursuing new parts for the aging sea vessels. All indications point to the feds refurbishing the subs for duty, even though the diesel-electric powered vessels are outdated war machines.

Several tenders come out weekly asking for a series of new Victoria Class sub materials: things like electronic measuring components, video and photographic recording equipment, and assorted tubing and fixtures. On the same day the escape training tender was posted, the government issued a separate call for more "spare parts" for the same subs.

So just to tally up the above, Canada is not only pouring more money into these aging, sinking subs (which is slowly eroding the bank accounts of the Royal Canadian Navy), it's purchasing videos to mitigate the potential for more accidents. In other words, if you're looking for a new metaphor for burning money holes, just call it "pulling a Victoria sub."