Thursday, July 25, 2019

Tragedy at Sea: The Russian Submariners Could Have Been Saved

Still unanswered are the two questions raised almost immediately after the July 1 incident:
1) What were so many senior officers practicing on the deep-diving submersible?
2) Why did the "High Ranking Military Official" say at the funeral service:
“Today we are seeing off the crew of a research deep water apparatus, who died while performing a combat mission in the cold waters of the Barents Sea. Fourteen dead, 14 lives,” he is quoted as saying. “At the cost of their lives, they saved the lives of their comrades, saved the ship, did not allow a planetary catastrophe.
From The Barents Observer, July 25:

The explosion that killed 14 of Russia’s most experienced submarine sailors took place as special purpose sub «Losharik» (AS-31) was about to connect with its mother ship. 
The sailors were about to return to base after training when the fire broke out in the battery compartment, Kommersant reports. The newspaper has talked with sources close to the ongoing investigation of the accident.

The exercise was reportedly the last before an upcoming combat mission. It took place in the Motovsky Bay, near the Peninsula of Rybachii, possibly only about 50 km from the border to Norway.

This is shooting and training ground for the Northern Fleet, Kommersant reports.
Smoke started to erupt from the vessel’s battery compartment as the advanced special purpose submarine was to connect with far bigger mother ship «Podmoskovie».

In its initial phase, the fire probably did not pose any serious threat to the lives of the submarines. According to the sources of the Kommersant, the crew could easily have evacuated through the airlock chamber of carrier ship «Podmoskovie».

In that case, all men would have saved their lives....MUCH MORE
...The fire onboard the «Losharik» (AS-31) broke out in the evening of 1 July. Among the 14 sailors that died were two highly decorated Heroes of Russia, seven 1st rang [sic] captains and three 2nd rang captains. The crew included some of the the most experienced men in the Russian Navy....
Just What Was That Stricken Russian Submarine Carrying?