The nuclear submarine Samara put out to sea and got leak
Not long before New Year 2003, a nuclear submarine returned to its base. Today, a long navigation is a real event: after the Kursk tragedy, any Russian submarine had not put out to sea. So, the Russian Navy commander-in-chief, Vladimir Kuroyedov decided it was a high time for it and there was a proper submarine for these aims with a very good name – Samara (like a Russian city on Volga River). The Samara is really one of the best Russian submarines. So, it put out to sea. Though, it came back earlier, than planned, and with serious injuries…
A big tragedy was avoided, though in the submarine light hull, on its right side, near to the bow, two holes appeared in the area of the sonar partition, and some cracks.
First version of the damage reason was collision with a foreign submarine. At the time of Cold War, Soviet and “enemy” submarines often carried out some dangerous maneuvering, moving near to each other, and sometimes came into collision. When the Samara was carrying out its navigation, some foreign submarines were seen near to its course, too. Though a contact was fully excluded.
The submarine probably collided with a floating object? There are a lot of them in ocean: logs, buoys, upturned ships, which still float, half-submerged. And there are examples of such collisions: the Prestige tanker captain said his ship, which crashed September 11, 2002 near to Spain, had collided with a half-submerged container.
Though, in the Samara case, this version was rejected: while executing its task, the submarine almost did not surface.
The chairman of Kamchatka Military Association, retired captain Alexandr Yerokhomovich does not find it strange. The submarine could collide with anything: with a pier, with another ship, with stone bottom etc. Alexandr remembers an interesting case from the 1980s. A submarine missile-carrier returned from navigation and was put under repair, for its bottom was damaged during the navigation. In the dock, the crew found a big hole in the sonar partition, from where a big stone jutted out. The stone was extracted from the hole. It weighted about 30 tons. And, you know, this stone had not hindered the submarine from normal functioning, even the sonar had worked.
One more case took place in the 1980s in a submarine commanded by Dmitry Kasper-Yust. The submarine bumped into a coral reef and its hull was seriously damaged. Though, it successfully returned home. These cases show that submarines are very firm, in contrast to above-water ships, thanks to their double hull.
Though, in case with the Samara, something strange, even mysterious has happened. I tried to find out what, though everywhere I heard one thing: this is a state secret. But for me, it would be more logical just to explain that nothing extremely dangerous has happened and that the reactor has not been damaged. So, we can only speculate about what was the real reason of the hole. A giant speculate? A whale?
Officer Alexandr Yerokhomovich remembers about a method foreign sailors used in the years of Cold War. They threw big polyethylene bags filled with water overboard and togged this escort, expecting a Soviet submarine was following their ship. And if the submarine ran into such bag, it got damaged.
In case with the Samara, no floating objects were registered near to the submarine. The crew members from first and second compartments heard a flap, which was registered by the sonar. Then the submarine equipment was checked up. Everything was OK. The sonar operators also confirmed the submarine was alone in the water space and there was nobody around there. (I report you non-official information).
The Samara case made many military officials come to Kamchatka. Though, it is still not known, whether the reason of the damage was found or not. So, such a mysterious story. Ocean is a real cosmos, and we know about it not more than about outer space.
Apropos, one more case, which took place during that navigation should be mentioned. Lieutenant commander Dmitry Sinko had appendicitis, so graduate of Military Medicine Academy, senior lieutenant Ochir Anjaev had to perform an operation. This was his first operation: in the academy, he had only assisted to a surgeon. For half and a hour, Ochir was searching for the blind gut, and it turned out the patient had “anomalous” situation of internal. Though, spite all the troubles, the operation was successful and in seven days, Dmytry Sinko could return to work again.
Igor Kravchuk Puls Povolzhya
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://districts.pravda.ru/districts/2003/9/33/309/7401_samara.html
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