Wet sub
A wet sub is a type of underwater vehicle (submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

) that does not provide a dry environment for its occupants. Usually, wet suited
A wetsuit is a garment, usually made of foamed neoprene, which is worn by surfers, divers, windsurfers, canoeists, and others engaged in water sports, providing thermal insulation, abrasion resistance and buoyancy. The insulation properties depend on bubbles of gas enclosed within the material,...

 scuba divers will ride upon the device (as one would ride a motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

 or with an opening as in an Olympic bobsled), although it can be designed to fully enclose its occupant(s) to provide lower drag. An enclosed vehicle may provide a dry viewing chamber for the occupant(s). The motive force is an electric motor and usually the power source is an electric battery. The depth and duration at depth is typically limited by the requirements of a scuba diver.

Military use

This device may be configured as a mine-laying system (particularly for attaching limpet mine
Limpet mine
A limpet mine is a type of naval mine attached to a target by magnets; they are so named because of their superficial similarity to the limpet, a type of mollusk....

s directly to a ship) or as a torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

, or may be used for intelligence gathering in harbors. They have also been used to plant listening and recording devices on undersea cables (see Operation Ivy Bells
Operation Ivy Bells
Operation Ivy Bells was a joint United States Navy, CIA and National Security Agency mission whose objective was to place wire taps on Soviet underwater communication lines during the Cold War.-History:...

). For such military use the operator will use a rebreathing
A rebreather is a type of breathing set that provides a breathing gas containing oxygen and recycled exhaled gas. This recycling reduces the volume of breathing gas used, making a rebreather lighter and more compact than an open-circuit breathing set for the same duration in environments where...

 device so as not to leave a trail of bubbles. Such devices are deployed from a service ship or a specially outfitted conventional submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

. An example is the Multi-Role Combatant Craft (MRCC) from STIDD Systems in the US STIDD.

The Motorised Submersible Canoe
Sleeping Beauty (canoe)
The Motorised Submersible Canoe , nicknamed Sleeping Beauty, was built by British Special Operations Executive during World War II as an underwater vehicle for a single frogman to perform clandestine reconnaissance or attacks against enemy vessels.-Design:The MSC was designed by Major Hugh Quentin...

 developed by the British Special Operations Executive
Special Operations Executive
The Special Operations Executive was a World War II organisation of the United Kingdom. It was officially formed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Axis powers and to instruct and aid local...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

is another example.


A wet sub is attractive to the amateur or small commercial builder since many of the problems associated with a dry sub are avoided — only the propulsion and power systems need to be waterproof and life safety is much less of an issue than it is with a sealed occupant chamber. Complete submarines of this type are also available commercially.
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