Oxygen candles and CO2 scrubbers are the lifeline of a submarine dwelling 200 feet under Arctic ice, but faulty units are to blame for the deaths of two British mariners in 2007, according to coroner’s findings reported by the BBC.
The deaths of Anthony Huntrod, 20, from Sunderland and Paul McCann, 32, from Halesowen in the West Midlands, aboard HMS Tireless have been attributed to systematic failures related to the procurement and maintenance of self-contained oxygen generators (SCOG) in the forward compartments of the submarine.
The two mechanics were trapped in a forward escape by the explosion of a SCOG while the submarine was under hundreds of feet of Arctic ice. May they rest in peace. The incident highlights the importance of knowing your equipment’s life history, as the unit in question may have been retrieved from a hazardous waste depot.