USS S-5 (SS-110) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

Built by Portsmouth Navy Yard in 1917, the USS S-5 was a submarine belonging to the U.S. Navy that was launched two years later. In 1920, it sank accidentally during full-power trials, but as a result of the action of the crew, no lives were lost. However, after two days, it sank again while under tow. In the summer of 1920, the USS S-5 departed Boston Navy Yard to undergo full-power trials in the Atlantic Ocean 55 nautical miles off the Delaware Capes. Unfortunately, during a submerging test, water began entering the submarine through the main air induction system. Following the second sinking of the submarine, the wreck was found only in 2001, when the Office of Ocean Exploration assigned a ship to search for it. After 8 hours of searching, the wreck of the USS S-5 was finally found. Due to the presence of asbestos on the submarine, the health of the crew was in danger, as the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers can lead to the development of serious diseases within 20 to 50 years. For this reason, anyone who was aboard the USS S-5 and survived needs to undergo periodical medical examinations in order to discover a potential disease. The portion of the hull plating of the USS S-5 that General G. W. Goethals removed to allow the crew to escape from the submarine is currently on display in the National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington, D.C.

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