China: Submarine captain honored for averting an underwater ‘disaster’

Beijing has been increasing its naval power and reaches in recent years, and it is an extraordinary access for China’s military, which President Xi Jinping regularly supports to strengthen its ability to “win battles”.

Wang Hongli, commander of submarine 372, was honored by the Central Military Commission for “successfully dealing with a major sudden dangerous situation” during an underwater mission, the military’s official People’s Liberation Army Daily reported.

The squad “overcame various difficulties, and created a miracle in China’s and the world’s submarine history”, pronounced the report posted on the Defense Ministry website, without specifying any facts.

Submarine 372 is reportedly a diesel-electric Kilo-class vessel that passed into service in 2006 after Beijing bought it from Moscow. In April the PLA Daily reported that the submarine had been hit by a sudden alteration in water density while patrolling in an area of the sea “thousands of meters deep”. The vessel began sinking rapidly due to increased water pressure because of the pipe in the main engine were damaged.

Hongli and his team reacted quickly, according to the report, shutting down nearly 100 valves and switches and operating dozens of controls, all within three minutes, before steering the submarine out of peril.

Wu Shengli, commander of the PLA Navy stated the crew risked their lives to “prove their loyalty”.

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