Friday 1 December 2017

Eliana Krawczyk: world's first female submariner to die. RIP.

Eliana Maria Krawczyk, Argentina’s first woman submariner and her 43 colleagues on the missing ARA San Juan, will no longer be sought. After 15 days the rescue operation has been called off and all aboard are presumed to have died after a battery exploded.

Picture of Eliana from Reuters:

The Telegraph has compiled this list of submarine accidents
1951. Royal Navy submarine, HMS Affray in English Channel during training, 75 lost.
1963. USS Thresher lost during deep diving tests, 129 lost.
1968. USS Scorpion sank, all 99 lost.
1970. French submarine Eurydice sinks with 57 crew off St. Tropez.
1985. Soviet submarine K-431 at Chazma Bay, 10 crew die and 49 others suffer radiation injuries.
2000. Russia's Kursk K-141 nuclear submarine sinks in Barents Seaa fter suffering a explosion on exercises.
2002. HMS Trafalgar, runs aground near Skye, 3 sailors injured.


Many online pictures show grieving women relatives of the crew. (See picture from Reuter,"),

As yet there has been no gender-specific mourning for Eliana.

No one has yet used the tragedy as opportunity to call for women to be excluded from seagoing, as happened with the Royal Navy’s Acting Leading Seaman Faye Turney in Spring 2007 off the Iran-Iraq coast. (Faye pictured with baby Molly and husband Adam, Daily Express, 11 April 2007). Comments about Faye’s reported behaviour after being arrested by Iranian military personnel, along with 14 others, included that she had been insufficiently Nelsonic.

At that time, 17 years after the RN’s 3,000-odd women had been allowed at sea, some in the UK still saw women as inherently not fitted for seafaring, let alone for combat situations. This was seen as especially true for mothers.

A pioneer, not proof of women's unsuitedness

Hopefully Eliana’s achievements will mean that she continues to be a beacon, an inspiration to other would-be female submariners.
Even in the UK women ‘sinkers’ are still seen as pioneers, five years after women being officially cleared to do such work. (The UK is currently said to have c 50 women on submarines, including officers and medical assistants).The first three are pictured below.

Eliana's place in female submariners' global history
See this blog for 22 Nov for a global summary of women on submarines. Eliana is part of the first 500 in the world. She goes down in history as the very first of the sorority to die on active service.
(Picture from Sunday Times)