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Lost Subs tells four stories of disaster and heroism in the face of almost-certain death. What brings these awesome machines down, to be catastrophically crushed at the bottom of the sea? What lessons have been learned from investigating the wreckage of downed subs? The US and the former Soviet Union have both lost subs to the dark waters of chance and tragedy, and the stories from both sides - of K-19, the Kursk, the USS Thresher and USS Squalus will be told - by the submariners themselves, by their surviving family members and sometimes by the corpse of the downed submarine itself.
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National Geographic's compulsively watchable Lost Subs: Disaster at Sea presents a gripping look at real-life submarine disasters. Four different undersea disasters are examined, from the first tiny problem to the final, tense rescue efforts. A blend of computer animation, contemporary news footage, and stock footage keeps the action moving and gives the viewer an effortless sense of the mechanics involved. In addition to the real-life drama, Lost Subs has a true geek's appreciation for the incredible technology of a sub--at one point a sailor shows that the sonar is sensitive enough to pick up the sound of shrimp feeding. The events covered are the stuff of action movies--the events of the K-19 disaster were made into a Harrison Ford thriller of the same name--but Lost Subs never loses sight of the fact that there are real people involved. Some of the most wrenching moments follow the families of the crew of the Kursk screaming for action and information as rescue efforts stall. Lost Subs is beautifully produced, sensitively handled, and impossible to stop watching once you've started. --Ali Davis
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