Submarines: The Dutch Run Out of Sailors


August 3, 2007: The Dutch navy has four diesel-electric submarines, but is a few dozen sailors short of being able to keep all of them in service. The 2,500 ton Walrus class boats were built in the 1990s, and each requires a crew of about 52. To allow for leave and being away for training, each boat actually requires about 70 sailors, for there to be sufficient crew to take the boat to sea. But instead of a trained force of nearly 300 submarine sailors, the Dutch navy has only been able to recruit, train and keep about 200. So one of the four boats is being taken out of service, and another will only be sent to sea in an emergency. The navy blames the problem on too many submarine sailors leaving the navy for more lucrative civilian jobs.


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