Over the past four years more than three-quarters of a million tourists have viewed the colorful coral-lined seas off the U.S. coasts while sitting comfortably in submersibles designed to carry over 40 passengers. Seven tourist submersibles have been operating in U.S. waters, and their safety record has been good. The primary concern, however, is that regulations and procedures will ensure that future submersibles builders and operators meet the same or better standards than are found in present operations.
This volume examines the development of the tourist submarines industry throughout the world and explores the problems involved with strengthening the Coast Guard's capability of providing the oversight and expertise needed to certify and inspect tourist submersibles. It identifies the needs for system redundancy, hazards analysis, and quality control and recommends ways to enhance emergency rescue capabilities and management of passenger safety.
The book also addresses concerns about small two- or three passenger submarines that do not now fall under the Coast Guard's safety purview.