According to qianzhan.com, on September 2, Navy Commander-in-chief Wu Shengli read Central Military Commission and Navy’s order of awards of first-class merit and presented medals and certificates of medal and award to Captain Wang Hongli and the submarine.
The submarine was awarded for its miracle in dealing with the sudden change in water density that caused the submarine to sink drastically. Since World War II, there have been a few such accidents in the navies of various countries. Except Submarine 372, no submarine has been able to rescue itself to come out of the accident safely. Therefore, what Submarine 372 has experienced is regarded as a miracle in world submarine history.
Deepseawaters.com describes Captain Wang Hongli and his crew’s efforts in rescuing the submarine in its report “China: Submarine captain honored for averting an underwater ‘disaster’”. It says that due to increased water pressure because of the pipe in the main engine were damaged the submarine was sinking rapidly. At that time Captain Wang and his team reacted quickly to shut down nearly 100 valves and switches and operate dozens of controls, all within three minutes before steering the submarine out of peril.
Source: qianzhan.com “Chinese Navy award Submarine 372 for a miracle in world submarine history” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
Source: deepseawaters.com “China: Submarine captain honored for averting an underwater ‘disaster’”