Forward Escape Trunk
Forward Escape Trunk
(see diagram below)
The Forward Escape Trunk serves many purposes. Most frequently, the escape trunk functions as an entry point for men and equipment. In an emergency, there are two ways the escape trunk can be used to get men off the submarine. First, a deep-submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV) is able to dock onto the escape trunk. The DSRV can force the water out of the trunk and about two dozen men can climb aboard and ride the vehicle to safety. Six slow trips to the surface, which would be needed to get all 141 officers and men off the sub, may require too much time for all the crew to escape, however. The second way to exit through the trunk is for the crew members to don Steinke hoods, a combination life jacket and breathing apparatus. When two men enter the trunk they lock the inner hatch and quickly flood the chamber with seawater by opening the outer hatch. The men then exit the trunk, which is drained for the next pair of submariners. Lastly, the escape trunk functions as an exit point for the divers of special operation teams, such as SEAL teams.

Diagram of forward escape trunk

Diagrams reprinted from Tom Clancy's Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship, Laura Deninno, Series Illustrator.

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