When I was in Ciudad Rodrigo over in Salamanca I taught English to a bloke who was a lieutenant with a ride on one of their 6 frigates, the Canarias based in Rota down in Cadiz. This evening I met a chap for a language exchange and his ride is on the S-70 Galerna class submarine Tramontana built and based here in Cartagena.
There are currently four submarines in the Spanish Navy all built in the mid eighties. The original design is a French one but France retired the last of this class in 2001. The Pakistanis still use them though. The replacement S-80 boats are being built by the Cartagena based Navantia shipyards. They should be finished in another four years.
Anyway the interesting thing was that this chap told me that back in December 2008 his boat sprang a leak when they were in 300 metres of water. They followed procedure and dumped the lead ballast in double qick time and were soon bobbing along the surface with little harm done.
Apparently my bloke's grandad was killed in a submarine accident back in 1946 when a Spanish destroyer, the Lepanto, sliced his sub in half during exercises killing the 44 men on board.