Trade secret tragedy in the Sargasso Sea

25 years ago, has sunk Russian nuclear submarine K-219, the premise of the tragedy so far not made public.

October 4, 1986 in the newspaper "Pravda" was taken kutsee TASS: "The morning of October 3 at Russian nuclear submarine ballistic missiles on board in the area of about 1,000 km north-east of Bermuda in one of the compartments of a fire occurred. The crew of the submarine and the approaching Russian ships is the elimination of the consequences of fire. On board the submarine is injured. Three people were killed. The Commission concluded that the threat of unauthorized activity guns, nuclear explosions and radioactive environment of infection there. " In fact four people were killed, and then four more sailors died. After a day or two boat sank in the Atlantic Ocean at a depth of 5500 meters. What did happen?

Maneuver "Crazy Ivan"

September 3, 1986 the strategic nuclear submarine K-219 mission came out of the military base Gadzhievo and headed to the coast of the United States, where he has to carry on active service with 15 nuclear missiles on board. Submarine commander Captain First Rank Igor Britanov taken a number of steps in the transition stealth: masked by the noise associated cargo ship, carefully skirting installed on the sea days of technical means American sonar detection of submarines SOSUS. But the K-219 was all the same to notch in Iceland, and the U.S. Navy Command received information about entering an unknown submarine in the Atlantic.

Towards our boat, as later became clear, left the South American submarine. October 3, a few hours before entering the zone patrols, 680 miles north-east of Bermuda occurred sonar contact with a submarine-type "Los Angeles» USS Augusta (SSN-710). The captain of the first rank Britanov applied a special maneuver (Americans call it "Crazy Ivan") to follow in the wake of detection of enemy boats. At this point, there was a strike, missile silo number 6 and it appears to be leaking water gushed out. With her assistance with the components of rocket fuel form an explosive mixture. An explosion that destroyed the outer wall of the body strong and plutonium warhead missile. Some of the rocket flew into the sea, others fell inside the cruiser and, in the reaction with water, began to produce toxic fumes. After two minutes after the explosion, the commander of the K-219 submarine was able to raise the water surface. The crew left the waterlogged gas polluted fourth (Rocket) batten down the bay and sealed bulkhead.

The fight for survival

A struggle for survival of the cruiser. First explorers were able to reduce the spread of toxic contaminants from the emergency fourth in the other compartments. But a warped lines and pipelines on the boat all the same poisonous fog slowly diverge. In some places the level of pollution exceeded the maximum allowed in the 2 — 3 thousand times. There have been several attempts to merge the components of the fuel and pump seawater missile silos. But they were unsuccessful. Emergency party in riot gear was able to get into the fourth compartment and take out the bodies. After fourteen hours of continuous struggle for the life of the vehicle fire erupted in the fifth slot. Soon worked reactor protection. With all of this compensating grating, silencing the reactor should automatically fall down. But they are "stuck." On the engines of their drives have been reported power supply, cables burned. Now it was necessary at all costs shut down the reactor. After all, in every moment a nuclear explosion could occur. And it, by the way, was very close to the U.S. coast. Someone had to go on a deadly risk.

The first in the emergency bay off the group commander Nikolai Belikov. He went down on the lid of the reactor. Unscrewed the nut on one of the drives manual lowering of the CD. Stuck special key. And was able to lower the first array. However, the highest temperature in the reactor gave a point to know: Belikov, just returning to the adjoining compartment, lost consciousness. When he awoke, the officer went back to the reactor compartment is the sailor Sergei Preminin. Coupled lowered to the lower limit switch has two gratings. And again, coming to rest in the adjoining compartment, Belikov lost consciousness. Sergei Preminin (never-ending memory of him!) Alone again made it to the reactor and manually killed the last bars. Back out he could not. A raging fire cut off his path in life. The young man was burned, preventing a nuclear catastrophe in the 10's times worse Hiroshima.

After 77 hours of damage control boat, it became clear that she was not rescued. The crew moved to the point arrived in the disaster rescue ship. The last boat left its commander, Captain of the second rank UK — at 11:00 on October 6. At 11.03 K-219 sank, carrying in his own belly body sailor Sergei Preminin — ordinary kid Skornyakova from the village, not far from the stateliness Ustiuga — the third, the youngest son in a farming family.

Why silent tragedy

Despite the publicity started in the country, the heroism of Sergei Preminin people not vyznat. The fact is that even in the middle of October in the South American press has penetrated a message stating that "the nuclear submarine of the U.S. Navy during a patrol in the Atlantic Ocean has been damaged as a result of the housing collision with an underwater object." Gorbachev at the time was preparing for a meeting with Reagan in Reykjavik, and the tragedy of the classified.

However, there was Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on July 23, 1987: "For courage and bravery shown during the performance of military duty, reward the Order of the Red Star Preminin Sergei Medvedev's, Sailor (posthumous) …" But what is the reason, not many who knew. Quietly dismissed from the armed forces of the second rank of captain Britanova. Just silently disbanded the crew of K-219.

The fact that the tragedy occurred as a result of collision with an American submarine, not enough of the sailors who hesitates. When, after the explosion of our boat floated on the surface and was otdrait upper conning-tower hatch, senior assistant commander Captain Third Rank Sergei Vladimirov found along the port side of the mine accident and far aft, double furrow, cast iron luster. Directed attention to her and the other members of the crew. Where did it come from? Specialists have not found a convincing explanation. Some people assume that this is the result the impact of a torn cover emergency mine. Others, citing calculations, justify that the freshest mark on the metal could not be depicted by a cover, it's not happened without the influence of an outside object, maybe even a foreign submarine.

South American press in general and indirectly confirms this version. Here, for example, that the newspaper "Washington Post", "The American experts, submariners have confirmed that even before Gorbachev, Reagan notified of the incident, the U.S. knew about the incident on the Russian submarine. Although they would not reveal details of who sent the first message of the tragedy, it is possible that it came from an American submarine, performing tracking Russian submarines. "

In those October days are in the American press on the tragedy of our submarines covered with a touch of sensationalism, but in general the information was weighted. In local newspapers from time to time trickled a few details. For example, the fact that in the first half of October 1986 the U.S. Navy submarine "Augusta" during a patrol in the Atlantic hull was damaged as a result of a collision with an underwater object and arrived at the home port of New London (Conn.) for repairs in dry the dock. It was
pointed out that as a result inspection revealed damage to the bow of the hull fairing and sonar. To repair the submarine lured strictly limited number of professionals in the personal office. U.S. Navy officials declined to comment on the incident. By the way, after 15 years, the situation has repeated one hundred percent with the repair of American nuclear submarine "Groton" after the death of nuclear submarine "Kursk"!

Then, if you remember, first news agency, citing sources at the headquarters of NATO and the U.S. administration said that in the area of the tragedy of the "Kursk" were two South American submarine, as the U.S. Navy intelligence ship "Loyall2." But then, Pentagon officials and NATO began to deny this information.

Meanwhile, for the next day after the tragedy of the "Kursk" Russian funds and technical intelligence radio interception fulfilled: South American submarine "Memphis" has requested permission to visit critical to Norway for repair. When the news became the Western press, first followed by denial, and then not very convincing explanation of the Norwegian authorities that the planned renovation of the American boat, but what exactly is repaired on a submarine, where and by what means directly from the media while hidden there.

This is logical. The history of submarine collisions testifies yet no one has ever admitted to what he did to ram a foreign submarine. Yet, at some point, the hidden documents of Naval Staff, storing information about these cases become public. Would not seem to save and disaster K-219.

Scuba confrontation

Incidentally, after the Kremlin is headed for "friendship with America," underwater confrontation between our navies did not become less rigid. February 11, 1992 rammed each other our nuclear submarine "B-276" and the South American "Baton Rouge." March 20, 1993 encounter Russian strategic submarine missile cruiser "K-407" and U.S. atomarina "Grayling". Admiral Igor Kasatonov in his own memoir, "The Navy came out into the ocean," writes: "20 submarine collision, mainly the fault of the Yankees came out for the last time."

There may be a memory, with the result that most of the submarine collision suffer only our boats. This is absolutely not true.

— Simply, we know virtually nothing about the consequences of the collision for the U.S. side, — commented on the situation recognizable lifeguard Rear Admiral Yury Senate. — This information is our strategic competitor, of course, is secret. But I, for one, know of a case where our "K-306" so rammed a South American "Patrick Henry," that she came out and the crew began to vigorously fight for survival. Our "K-19" in one fell swoop, "packed" South American boat "Getou" at the bottom of the Barents Sea. Then only the magic of the Yankees got the best of death. So in an underwater collision chances for both sides are approximately equal (with comparable tonnage). However, almost all depends on what parts touching the boat. For example, the one who hit the keel, of course, has the advantage. Specifically, for this reason, large-K-219 or the "Kursk" (24 thousand tons displacement) could get the hardest hole on the collision of medium (the Yankees, for example, there are no boats over 8 thousand tons submerged displacement) submarine.

From the Files

Died in the tragedy on the K-219: Commander WH-2 commander A. Petrachkov, sailor-rocketeer N. Smoglyuk driver Kharchenko, reaktorschik S.Preminin. Then he killed four members of the crew of K-219: Captain Third Rank V.Markov, Commander V. Karpachev, the captain of the second rank I. Krasil'nikov sergeant first article R.Sadauskas.

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