Wednesday, April 18, 2007


A New England nor'easter sank the Russian Juliett 484 museum submarine today.
The news reported as of yesterday 4/17 that the boat was taking on water aft.

Juliett 484 Summer 2006 (Photo by Lubbers Line)
Then local news today 4/18 had this report on the sinking.

Type: Guided Missile Submarine
Class: Project 651 (NATO designation Juliett)
Launched: 11 March 1965
At: Krasnaya Sormova Works, Gorky, Russia
Commissioned: 31 October 1965
Length: 297 feet
Beam: 32 feet, 10 inches
Draft: 23 feet
Displacement: 3,174 tons (surfaced)
Currently - 4,137 tons (submerged)
Juliett 484 April 18, 2007 (Photo by Lubbers Line)
(Click on photo for a larger view)

I volunteered for a while at the sub museum and it was a sad sight when I stopped by today and took the above photo. She wasn't water-tight having been modified with access doors in the forward and aft torpedo compartments. The hatches were the oval surface ship type that could be dogged shut. Because of the subs age the ballast tanks were a constant maintenance issue requiring repairs to sections where they were rusting through.

Today I spoke to the Duty Officer from the Sunday before Monday's storm; he felt the boat was in good shape to ride out the storm when he left. The problem was that the city closed the hurricane barrier adjecent to the sub for the storm surge. The storm surge caused the sub to ride high on its mooring lines and shift in its normal berth. When the water receded the bow rested high on a shoal area and the stern sank deeper. As I recall the aft ballast tanks were the ones in worst shape and the free flood area aft below the superstructure has lots of areas for water to collect. We always had to pump these pockets out after a big rain.

Once the stern water level reached the access hatch the aft torpedo room started to slowly flood. As evidanced in the photo the boat is now on the bottom at the pier and the Coast Guard has ordered the area closed off to visitors. The mooring lines are stressed to the breaking point and one has already parted. A salvage company was on-site evaluating the effort required to re-float her.

Let's just hope that with all submarines surfacing equal dives.

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