The disaster of Scorpio

South American submarine sank 400 miles from the Azores. 91 people died.

May 21, 1968 at 8:00 pm from a submarine "Scorpion", which was about 250 miles south of the Azores, was admitted to an ordinary radio message: "Location — 35 degrees 07 minutes north latitude, 41 degrees 42 Minutka west longitude, speed 18 knots , the rate of 290. " No more posts from the boat did not arrive.

"Scorpion" was due to return to the port of Norfolk (Virginia), May 27, at 17 hours 00 minutes. As part of the 8th U.S. Navy boat to pass about 2.5 thousand miles in the open ocean, almost always in areas with depths bolshennymi and very inaccurately marked on maps underwater ridge. But on the whole flight, as well as sent a radio message to the side of the boat, with good reason could be quite mundane.

After 5 months, about 400 miles southwest of the Azores research vessel "Mizar" found and photographed in the days of ocean mutilated body of the submarine, which, apparently, was the "Scorpion". It lay at a depth of over 3,000 meters. Naval forces have been unable to determine the cause of her death, but the sea An old tradition enrolled unfortunate fate of the submarine at the expense of the Bermuda Triangle.

At first, yet there was hope that the commander of the "Scorpion" Sletteri no hurry to transition through the shallow waters of the continental shelf, as the area was raging storm. When it had no hope for the return of the submarine, the search began for the surviving crew members and wreckage. In addition, the commission was appointed to investigate the events of the death of "Scorpion".

"Scorpion" was nuclear Underwater boat displacement 3075 tons, a length of 76.8 meters. On board was a crew of 91 people. In accordance with the rules established for nuclear submarines, to make transitions in submerged in deep water, boat "Scorpion" was not supposed to give signals on the air. Command of the U.S. Navy for the next 5 days did not show any particular concern, not having received any radio messages from the boat.

"Scorpion" was prescribed strictly limited depth, as the reconstruction of the boat, launched after the death of "Thrasher" in April 1963, was not finished yet. It was believed that the crew of the "Scorpion" are not in danger, although the efficiency of the system, providing the boats ascend to the surface, was called into question, and an alarm system ascent was considered worthless. Near Naples "Scorpion" collided with a barge, but the boat inspection showed that she avoided any damage.

It is May 27, and when the estimated time of submarine boat had arrived at the base, it was clear that something has gone with it. At 7:00 pm, it was announced that the ship was "delayed", but by that time 55 ships and 35 aircraft were already searching for "Scorpion". They combed the band width of 50 miles on either side of its intended course, caught the radio and sonar echoes were observed, not whether there will be water on the debris and oil stains, and had hoped that the boat sank in the area where depth less than calculated, since the supplies of food and water, the availability of air purification equipment provided its crew to 70 days to wait for rescue.

As time went on, and the "Scorpion" is not vorachivalsya to home port and did not submit news about themselves. Fluctuations was no more — the boat sank. At first, painstaking examination undergone relatively shallow area of the Atlantic shelf. If the boat sank intact, and the members of her crew alive, you can try to save them (which is ruled by a significant depths).

The second area of research are the top of underwater mountains that stretch for many miles in. It was assumed that one of them is placed closer to the surface than it is indicated on the maps, and it may lie "Scorpion". This band has been surveyed from the air in case the boat is on the surface and its electronic systems are out of order as a result of any event, maybe even a collision with a whale.

During the search for "Scorpion" off the coast of Virginia on the days of the submarine found almost the same size as the "Scorpion". It turned out that she was there since the second world war. A couple of times on the radio was recorded word "Brandywine" — codenamed "Scorpion", but the audit showed that it is entirely legitimate title are eight vessels. One of the radio from London, told reporters that a telegram received from the board, "Scorpion", in what was said about the problems of steam turbine condenser. This message, but immediately denied the command of the U.S. Navy. Just nine days later Navy Command announced the boat, "presumably dead."

Rescue ships and aircraft were withdrawn to their bases, and the sea were to continue searching only vessels "Bowditch" and "Mizar", which is proven in the search for "Thrasher" and lost at the Palomares hydrogen bomb. "Mizar" pulled to a single node at a rate typical sled — welded from steel pipes design, moves at a distance of 4-9 meters from the bottom. Sleigh rides were installed connected to the vessel coaxial cable (longer than 6 km) magnetometer, a specially designed camera, equipped with a lens with a field of view of 120 ° and 2 flash lamps, and sonar horizontal and vertical viewing.

Meanwhile, in Washington began to identify very ugly facts. One journalist wrote that the building "Scorpion" were very thin (hairline) cracks. In hydraulic seals around the body of the periscope was observed penetration of water. Similar leaks occurred in and around the propeller shaft. Did not exclude the possibility of any defects in the boat navigation equipment.

Press this fact is presented as a sensation, but it soon became clear that the reporter had never served on a submarine, introduced readers astray. In reality, the steel used for the construction of submarine hulls, always has hairline cracks, which is a feature of the structure of this steel grade. These cracks then just grinded without any harm to the body.

After all hydraulic seals periscopes always penetrate the water and the oil dripping on the heads of divers. Leaking around the propeller shaft — it's not just completely normal phenomenon, it is provided in advance. Every watch in the engine room to see to it that the leak did not stop: sea water acts as a lubricant to prevent seizure of a rapidly rotating shaft.

As for the defect in the navigation equipment, it soon formed the commission of inquiry was unable to obtain any of the 1st of sworn testimony, which would confirm that such failures have occurred. This real value of these "unsavory facts."

November 10, 1968 was taken by an official announcement that the "Scorpion" is found as a result of the largest in the history of the search operation, which took part in the 6 thousand people and 400 vessels and aircraft. A few of days earlier, on October 30, on board the "Mizar" in the headquarters of the U.S. Navy received a radio message later: "The items identified as part of the case Underwater Boat U.S. "Scorpion", found in about 400 miles southwest of the Azores at a depth of more than 3 thousand meters ", ie She was 150 miles from the point with coordinates indicated in the last telegram!

Admiral Moorer made an official announcement that the oceanographic research vessel "Mizar" photographed part of
a submarine lying on the days of the ocean about 400 miles southwest of the Azores, but almost will raise to the surface at least some fragments. Investigation Commission has decided to continue the investigation into the events of disaster.

How did you manage to find a boat? The journalist Drew Pearson claimed that "Scorpion" was found Russian, razlyubezno report an command of the U.S. Navy on where it is found. More is possible, but that the boat (more precisely, her remains) was found as a result of painstaking investigation by the Navy. Throughout the continental shelf off the coast of the United States are located hydrophones and other equipment installed at depths of 180 to 4900 meters and form a system of early warning in case of attack enemy submarines. None of these devices has not registered the passage of "Scorpion", but the band sonar installed near the Azores, recorded sound, which could be caused by the destruction of a submarine.

Then set up a queue of underwater television cameras, magnetometers, underwater cameras and sonar. In addition, the search for used boats has recently developed a device that resembles a small torpedo equipped with side-scan sonar. During the search, they slid over the bottom of the ocean at the stern of the vessel to tow them, looking at a bandwidth of 600 meters.

Thus, fragments of "Scorpion" were found and photographed. The dead boat was found in the surveyed region. It was torn in half in the central office. Objectives embodied in the days of the ocean next to the body of the submarine several smaller fragments.

It remains to find the prerequisites death boat.

"Arizona Ripablik", February 1, 1969: "Washington. CHD. As said the ministry naval forces, the investigation committee consisting of 7 people, has been unable to explain the death of the "Scorpion", which sank in May last year. So far the only evidence that talk about the death of "Scorpio" are photos made by underwater cameras with the research vessel "Mizar".

According to the Ministry of the Navy, unclassified findings of the commission, posted yesterday, eliminate two likely prerequisites disaster: a collision with an underwater mountain or ridge and the tragedy of the atomic power plant. In the area where the submarine sank, no underwater mountains or ridges, and, after hearing the testimony of professionals, the Commission concluded that the tragedy could not happen because of any problems with the nuclear power plant.

Commission also convinced that the death of the "Scorpion" can not be attributed to the fact that the reconstruction of the programm boats to ensure its safety has not yet been completed. The Commission also considers that there is no reason to believe, as if the "Scorpion" was the victim of sabotage. In addition, the Commission has no evidence that would indicate the possibility of a collision, "Scorpion" with another submarine or surface vessel, as no South American or foreign vessel is said about this kind of collision.

As the Commission emphasizes the Navy, the crew of "Scorpion" — this is a very experienced and well-coordinated team, which in the case of the tragedy would have acted swiftly and efficiently. "When leaks such highly trained crew, as crew "Scorpion", immediately took to all the necessary measures for its elimination "- written in the commission's report.

"Although the photo does not give any reason to believe that the submarine sank as a result of the explosion of one of its own torpedoes, — says further in the report — the commission has investigated the question of the likelihood of such an explosion."

Judging by photographs, manufactured by "Mizar" cutting "Scorpion" is not damaged, but it lies on its side more than 100 feet from the bow of the boat. The commission of inquiry, which met from June 1968 to January 1969, put forward four possible explanations accident occurred. The first premise was named a possible hardware fault management. It was assumed that the mechanism of control hydroplanes during the execution of another maneuver could remain in the position of the dive, as well as driving at high speed, "Scorpio" and was already in deep water, the crew did not have time to do anything before the boat headed for critical depth.

Boat could sink in the end breakage of one of the pipes, just as it happened with the "Thresher" five years earlier.

Third, the Commission proposed an explanation of the problem meant torpedoes. But the photo fragments exclude the possibility that the submarine fired a torpedo struck her as it happened during the second world war with the U.S. submarine "Tang". One would assume that as a result of a catastrophic accident torpedo exploded inside the boat, but this assumption seems highly unlikely, since it is not clear that the boat was generally torpedo.

In the end, as has happened previously in submarines, one of the crew members, lost self-control, could not pull it over the lever or push the wrong button. Such an explanation can not be considered conclusive, taking into account the higher qualification of the crew and proven medical examinations psychological stability of sailors and officers.

Shards "Scorpion" were found at a depth of 3000 meters. Rescue divers at such depth is unreal. "We are all aware that if the submarine sank in deep water, it does not have to help." These words were said soon after the death of "Scorpion" Captain 1st Rank V. Nicholson, project manager for the creation of deep systems. He acknowledged that the U.S. has a fleet of nuclear submarines operating in the area such depths, where the appearance of any fault means that the crew is doomed to perish.

The death of "Scorpion" is often associated with Latent Bermuda Triangle, although this tragedy happened closer to Africa and Portugal than to Bermuda.

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