Submariners are likely unaware of coronavirus pandemic spreading above the water

Coronavirus
The USS Florida sails on Jan. 22, 2003, off the coast of the Bahamas. (David Nagle/U.S. Navy/Getty Images)

The USS Florida sails on Jan. 22, 2003, off the coast of the Bahamas. (David Nagle/U.S. Navy/Getty Images)

Of a world in coronavirus turmoil, they may know little or nothing.

Submariners stealthily cruising the ocean deeps, purposely shielded from worldly worries to encourage undivided focus on their top-secret missions of nuclear deterrence, may be among the last pockets of people anywhere who are still blissfully unaware of how the pandemic is turning life upside down.

Crew members of ballistic submarines are habitually spared bad news while underwater to avoid undermining their morale, say current and former officers who served aboard France’s nuclear-armed subs. So any crews that left port before the virus spread around the globe are likely being kept in the dark about the extent of the rapidly unfurling crisis by their commanders until their return, they say.

“They won’t know,” said retired Adm. Dominique Salles, who commanded the French ballistic submarine squadron from 2003 to 2006. “The boys need to be completely available for their mission.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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