Episode 56: USS Triton sails around the world underwater

Operation Sandblast track - from All Hands magazine, July 1960. (Photo via Wikipedia)

Operation Sandblast track – from All Hands magazine, July 1960. (Photo via Wikipedia)

On April 25, 1960, the USS Triton completed the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe.

Here are a few facts about the Triton and her mission:

One, the 60-day mission under Captain Edward Beach Junior, used Saint Peter and Saint Paul Rocks in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as the starting and finishing points for circumnavigation.

Two: The route was roughly the same as that of Ferdinand Magellan when his crew sailed around the world in the early 1500s.

Three: The submarine went undetected for the entire trip, except when the raised periscope was spotted by a young man in a dugout canoe off the coast of the Philippines. In the November 1960 issue of National Geographic magazine, 19-year-old Rufino Baring said he believed he had encountered a sea monster, saying “I was very frightened. I tried to get away as fast as I could.”

Our question: True of false, the Triton still holds the record for fastest maritime circumnavigation of the globe.

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