“Why did not people save?” – the question of what happened on August 12, 2000, in the Barents Sea – remains open and many years after the tragedy. Then the third day of the exercises of the Russian Navy was held. K-141 “Kursk” – the pride of the domestic fleet, an atomic-powered vessel the size of two huge aircraft – looked like an unshakable pillar.
The explosion that came to Alaska
On board the submarine there were 118 people. On August 11, the work “Peter the Great”, which also took place the exercises, watched the work done by “Kursk”. He safely completed the firing missiles and went into another sector of the exercises. After it was planned to launch torpedoes on surface ships. But on August 12, three submarines completed the mission, and the Kursk was silent.
The explosion occurred at 11.28 – so powerful that it was recorded even in Alaska. Experts say that its strength was equivalent to an earthquake of 4.2 on the Richter scale. A couple of minutes later there was a second explosion. Communication with the submarine ceased, by the end of the day the Kursk was declared “emergency.”
On August 13, hydro acoustics found a nuclear-powered ship. He was lying on the seabed. Rescuers who were on the “Peter the Great”, who led the operation, were sure that they heard knocking, similar to SOS signals.
Two ships, Altai and Rudnitsky, were sent to the site to provide the sunken sailors with electricity and oxygen. Three attempts to get submariners out of the boat with the help of rescue capsules ended in nothing. Two emergency hatch on the Kursk was not available. You could leave only through the third, the last, which was located above the ninth compartment, where a special coaming area was equipped. Practically zero visibility and a strong underwater current prevented the sailors from being saved from captivity.
The distress signals arrived in five days. The government was convinced that at least 5-6 days the submariners would live: there was still time. But all new attempts failed because of the weather.
On August 20, Norwegian specialists began to work. They managed to turn the valve “Kursk”, but could not lift the lid. On August 21, a hatch was opened. Live here did not find.
Mysterious SOS sounds
Vladimir Ustinov, who held the post of Prosecutor General from 2000 to 2006, in the book “The Truth about the Kursk” wrote that the sailors on a submarine died long before the arrival of assistance. According to the Prosecutor General, after the second explosion, the crews of the sixth, seventh and eighth, where they died from suffocation in a room where there was a lot of carbon monoxide, moved to the potential saving ninth compartment.
Lawyer Boris Kuznetsov, following this book, issued his own, as it were, supplement to the publication of the official: “She drowned … The truth about the Kursk, which was concealed by Prosecutor General Ustinov.”
Kuznetsov claimed: from how many times the prosecutor general repeated his lie, that the submariners died very quickly, the statement will not become more truthful. In his opinion, people in water confinement were threshing hammering on the walls with a sled hammer or other heavy object on the walls for at least two days. Their signals SOS caught and recorded “Peter the Great.”
As the midshipman of “Peter the Great” Fedor N. told about the events of that day, he also heard the signals being sent. They were very deaf, they sounded like an alarm, he even had doubts that they were knocking on iron. Later it turned out that the signals did not come from the submarine – the only survivors could be only in the ninth compartment, but a day later they were dead, which is a proven fact. And the investigation could not establish an unnamed seaman, who was giving signals from the underwater part of a certain ship.
Emergency torpedo version
In “The Deserted Quay” by Vladimir Shigin it is told that on August 12 a nuclear-powered ship was to be fired with blanks on surface ships. The author explained that this type of shells has been used by the Russian Navy for more than two decades. But the torpedo “Kursk” differed from previous models: it contained another battery. Therefore, at the scene of the accident on the day when news of the crash came, representatives of the plant and military acceptance attended. There were reports that the commander of the submarine, Gennady Lyachin, before the tragedy asked for permission to shoot an emergency torpedo. But this version was not confirmed by the author of the book. Shigin writes that if Lyachin actually told the leadership about the state of emergency on the submarine, the torpedo attack would be canceled or postponed to another time.
Now everyone knows for sure that the nuclear submarine was wrecked due to the explosion of the projectile in the first torpedo compartment. But the original cause is still not clear, the author writes. He could not explode independently, as engineers constructively laid down a multi-stage defense system. The only thing that could serve as a catalyst – the strongest impact from the outside. Perhaps it was an underwater ram. Theoretically, this could happen when the Russian boat surfaced, and the foreign boat sank – if it really was.
Three versions, three riddles
According to the first, the most obvious and officially recognized version of the government, K-141 “Kursk” sank to the bottom due to explosions of torpedoes that were on it. 65-76A “Kit” exploded in the torpedo vehicle No. 4 after a fuel leak, which caused detonation of other shells.
The second version put forward by the Chief of the Northern Fleet Mikhail Motsak and fleet commander Vyacheslav Popov said that the “Kursk” collided with another submarine – most likely, American or British. Vice Admiral Motsak said that near the nuclear ship was “a mass of indirect signs of the presence of a second underwater facility, also, possibly, emergency.” According to him, an extraneous object detected hydro acoustic equipment of “Peter the Great”. It was noticed and the sailors, who were engaged in excavating from the water of emergency buoys.
In the third version, which the former deputy prime minister Ilya Klebanov inclined, it was said that the Kursk ran into the anti-ship mines of the Great Patriotic War, and then the detonation of the projectile occurred. But experts said that even a small atomic explosion would not be enough to raku rit this submarine, so the version seemed untenable.
When will they remove the label “secretly”?
Approximately 15 years after the tragedy, information emerged that the government was preparing the organization of a commission that would determine the possibility of revealing the true causes of the death of the Kursk.
The security classification was imposed for 30 years, but, according to Igor Permyakov, the head of the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, documents on the tragedy can be revealed before this date – if the government decides so.