STEVE RAY: Behind me is the DRIU, Damage Repair Instructional Unit
basically a big metal box which we flood
It's a mockup ship, so the internal layout resembles
pretty much what you'd see on the majority of Royal Navy ships
that are in the fleet today.
Primarily used for practical damage control training.
TOM SCOTT: "This is serious kit. I am... I am really...
"We're going to have to go in, repair some holes in the side...
"and I'm a little bit terrified."
MATT GRAY: "It's just normal temperature water.
"We're going to freeze when we get in there."
STEVE RAY: We've got four sections of the ship, split over three decks.
We've got complete control over water levels, smoke and lighting levels,
We can control pipe damage, deck and bulkhead splits,
We can roll the unit up to 15° either side of upright.
at a variety of different speeds to simulate different sea states.
So today the beginners are going to be getting just 5° of roll
which will seem like a lot to them.
Instructional staff will be getting the full 15°, to make it harder.
MATT: Bloody hell!
TOM: The very first thing, the 120psi breach.
and it's pointed at us, and the very first thing we have to do...
MATT: You could feel the pressure from two metres away,
just from the air it was chucking at you, never mind the water.
MELINDA SECKINGTON: I didn't quite realise how much you'd feel it
when I went to grab the wedge bag.
STEVE RAY: First hit, Zulu One, will consist of a small deck split,
and a large multi-split in the ship's side.
First stage leak-stopping on both of those will be softwood wedges.
- Ready? - Ready!
TOM: Getting pushed under... who got the breach underneath?
PAUL CURRY: I got that. TOM: That was you?
'Cos I tried that, and I just could not find the breach.
PAUL: No. No. It was really tricky. And the first time I went down,
I couldn't find it either. I knew it was between your two shoes,
could not for the life of me get the wedge in,
and all the time I was trying to be buoyant as possible,
which is not useful(!)
STEVE RAY: Anyone in the Royal Navy that is going to serve on a ship
will have to complete training here on the DRIU.
Intent being, to be able to confidently enter a flooded compartment,
carry out first-aid leak stopping,
be familiar with the equipment that they're going to be using,
effect permanent repairs and remove water from the compartment.
PAUL: The multi-split.
TOM: You were up there for a long time, Matt. You got a lot in there.
MATT: Lots of hammering, but as the water's filling up,
you can't find where the holes are, because the water goes above where they are.
TOM: You were up there for... as well?
MEL: I was pushing. MATT: Yeah.
TOM: You had to take all the weight of Matt pushing against you.
MATT: Did you see the bit where my foot started flailing off to the side?
I couldn't bring it back under the pressure!
STEVE RAY: The head of pressure is similar to what you would see
a couple of decks below the waterline.
So the water pressures, we believe to be realistic.
Some of the pipe damage, we do pump the water in,
to simulate a high-pressure seawater breach or fluid system pipe damage.
PAUL: Props to Tom for actually splitting a wedge in the heat of the moment.
MATT: I completely forgot about that! "But it won't fit!"
PAUL: That was intense.
TOM: "Oh yeah, we can do that!"
STEVE RAY: Second hit, you're going to see a 3-inch rocket hole.
It's going to be in a particularly awkward position behind a locker.
So we're looking to see somebody inside the locker,
possibly with teammates backing them up,
while they look to get wedges into that hole.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Missile launch detected, brace, brace, brace.
[SHOUTS AND RUSHING WATER]
ANNONUCEMENT: Stand to, carry out blanket search.
STEVE RAY: We've got a safety number on the gantry watching the exercise,
and controlling the exercise. They've got complete control of
the water level within the compartment, so they can make it higher
if you're doing well, to make it harder for you,
or if they're feeling kind, they can drop the water level.
They can also remove all the water very quickly in the event of an emergency.
They've got direct communications to the unit driver,
who's in the driver's cab.
The driver can turn on and off incidents,
they have control of all lighting and smoke levels,
how much the unit is rolling.
It's clean water similar to a swimming pool, so we chlorinate it,
it's stored in a sump directly below the unit.
And then we pump it up to the header tank prior to an exercise starting.
TOM: The cupboard! [SPUTTERS] We all tried it!
I've still got water in my ear, 'cos... just full force.
MATT: I managed to get my head in, and sort of round
so then the water's all here and missing my face.
But then you can't see anything!
TOM: The wedges kept diverting left and right.
PAUL: I was inhaling water most of the time,
so even though I had the wedges in the right place,
I got exploded back out of the cupboard because I forgot to breathe.
TOM: But then you got it!
PAUL: Yeah! Eventually.
TOM: What did you do to make it work?
PAUL: Wedges on the left hand side of the incident
and then push them towards the stream.
TOM: And it was that kind of arrowhead formation,
so you put two in, then one in the middle,
hammer it in and it all widens out?
PAUL: That's it. And because the wedges were given to me in that formation
and then a hammer followed... TOM: Well done Mel!
PAUL: It worked!
STEVE: We're looking for a second-stage build on the deck split,
which will just be a vertical shore,
utilising a rubber, steel and timber sandwich pack on the deck.
The importance of damage control training.
Ultimately: flooded compartments will remove buoyancy and stability from the ship,
too many flooded compartments, the ship could be lost.
Of equal importance, there's going to be equipment in each compartment,
which directly affects the fighting effectiveness of the ship.
Wartime, we need to recover real estate to allow us to fight the external battle.
And peacetime, we're looking to maintain enough buoyancy and stability
to keep the ship afloat.
TOM: Controlled conditions, in a simulator,
it took four of us five attempts to close a breach at the back of a locker.
The professionals are in there now,
they're going to do that and beyond in five minutes.
It took us twenty!
And that was on the easiest levels.
TOM: I've seen Royal Navy trainees in there when I did the recce for this,
and the trainees... it's the working together.
It's knowing that there is going to be... 'cos we were chaotic!
There was teamwork in there...
PAUL: We left an entire hammer behind at one point.
TOM: Did we? [LAUGHTER]
MATT: But we did manage to do it.
PAUL: They trusted us with hammers... and we prevailed!
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