Unsolved Mysteries "Komsomolets"

Unsolved Mysteries "Komsomolets»
Even 25 years after the death of a unique Soviet submarine experts argue about who is to blame for the tragedy
Twenty-five years ago the world was shocked with the tragedy of the nuclear submarine K-278 "Komsomolets". The accident occurred April 7, 1989 in the Norwegian Sea, 180 kilometers south-west of Bear Island and 490 km from the coast of Norway. Prior to the Soviet border - 980 km.
By the time the nuclear submarine was the third month in autonomous navigation. On its board were 69 people - crew members and seconded for the period of the campaign.
They had a unique ship. Its body is entirely made of titanium allowed the "Komsomolets" set the absolute world record for depth including submarines - 1027 meters. According navigator cruiser Captain 3rd Rank Alexander Borodin, compression body though immersion was such that the steel bunk in his cabin arched like a bow. It was August 4, 1985.

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Since then, almost thirty years have passed - a record "Komsomolets" no one has broken. However, it should be clarified that at kilometer depths K-278 dived certainly not to surprise the world. And it is not built for this. Just the opportunity to move away from the enemy in the unattainable for the abyss did "Komsomolets" virtually invulnerable in battle. Neither anti-submarine torpedoes could not get it there.
He was invulnerable in battle and died in almost the peace march because of a confluence of circumstances and of human fatal disorder. Briefly, things were so.
April 7 "Komsomolets" was at a depth of 380 meters at a speed of 8 knots. At 11.03 in the 7th compartment fire. What, how and why - exactly, nobody knows. A possible cause of experts called the electrical fire.
The crew immediately joined the fight against the fire. Eliminate the flame, as it should in such cases, the inclusion in the bay Loch (Lodochnaya surround Chemical fire extinguishing system) failed. Emergency protection fired steam-turbine plant and the submarine lost power. Trying commander "Komsomolets" Captain 1st Rank Vanina blow main ballast tanks for emergency surfacing only aggravated the situation: the high pressure air from the burnt-out pipe burst in the 7th slot. Local fire immediately turned into a volume. And broke the 6th compartment.
At 11.16 perish icebreaker still surfaced Norwegian Sea. Emergency was drowned out by the reactor. The ship stopped with increasing list to starboard. At 11.37 a distress signal sent to the headquarters of the Northern Fleet. From Severomorsk to the "Komsomolets" were quickly sent planes and civilian ships were in the area.
But the situation on the submarine continued to deteriorate rapidly. At 16.40 Vanin captain ordered the crew to prepare for evacuation, and all go to the upper deck. 17.08 The K-278 went to the bottom. The surviving members of her crew were in the icy water.
At 18.20 to the accident arrived mother ship "Alexey Khlobystov" and proceeded to rescue her hold on the surface of the submarine. By this time, died from hypothermia and drowning 16 sailors on board, "Alexei Hlobystova" raised 30 divers and 16 bodies. And just at that day from water and fire killed 42 crew members.
On why disappeared "Komsomolets", experts said a lot. By boat is still lying at the bottom of the Norwegian Sea at a depth of about three kilometers, not just offer expeditions. The best technical minds - not only Russia but also other countries - puzzled over how to raise it. But we have not yet come up.
Of those who participated in the last campaign, today all live the 25 people. Two - Fedotko officer and warrant officer Grigoryan - died at the end of the first decade of the 2000s. According to their friends, they have not moved away from the injury. First of all - moral.
─ Both long and seriously ill - sigh rose Markov, head of the charity organization "Memorial Society submarine" Komsomolets ", the mother of the deceased in the Norwegian Sea Senior Lieutenant Sergei Markov. - It's hard right now ill and Vice Admiral Chernov (it was at the time chairman of the committee on the pilot operation "K-278", and after the death of boats led the investigation into this state of emergency - auth.). It Chernov Evgeny Dmitrievich created our society. At present, it unites not only the family members of the crew of "Komsomolets", but others perished submarine crews.
"SP": - When the tragedy occurred with the "Komsomolets", the government promised that "never forget the sailors-heroes" and their families in every possible way will support. Fulfilled this promise?
─ Yes, 25 years has changed so much ... and that country already there, which served as our husbands and sons. What to say? The current Russian laws do not contribute to the fulfillment of the promises. For example, in the administration of St. Petersburg we pay lip service. But the law prohibits the use of this budget. And how no means to organize and carry out the same evening in memory?
Not so long ago we wrote a letter to President Putin spoke about the challenges made their proposals. The result? From the presidential administration, our letter was forwarded to the Ministry of Defence. And from there they reported that they have enough concerns about the current army ...
"SP": - Let a personal question, Rosa Alekseevna. Your only son Sergei was killed in the Norwegian Sea, having to leave the sinking boat frozen in ice water. You will find out why this happened?
─ they said that with the liferafts were problems. One of the two rafts opened away from the submarine, and the second overturned. For him, it was only possible to hold while waist deep in water. How to stay when arms and legs numb after five minutes? .. I also heard of a Norwegian aircraft that allegedly wanted to help our boys, but did not allow the Soviet command. There have been many different versions. One realized: summed imperfect technique.
On some of the issues at the request of the correspondent of "joint venture" shed light captain retired Boris Kolyada. During the campaign, he was attached to the boat senior on board.
─ The plane of the Norwegian Air Force "Orion", which first appeared on the site of the death of "Komsomolets" was not forbidden to help us, floundering in the cold sea - says Boris. - However, no one asked for it. And the Norwegians themselves have not shown the initiative. At some point, "Orion" became even interfere with our plane appeared shortly, trying to lose life rafts.
With those two rafts that we had, unfortunately, there were problems. One opened upside down because of that he was still on the boat put the bodies of two dead sailors. We had to quickly release the raft, and a heavy body ...
The second raft departed from the ship for more than a hundred meters. Do not catch up on the cold waves. In general, if briefly, the ship destroyed the chain of tragic accidents.
"SP": - The commander of the "Komsomolets" Vanin, giving the necessary commands to rescue personnel, whatever went down again in the already sinking submarine ...
─ not for some reason, but for their comrades. The commander is always the last to leave the ship. Vanin could not do otherwise. Together we climbed the stairs with him. I think - no live behind. At one point, I turned around - Commander rapidly coming down. Apparently, heard something, I realized that in the compartments of someone else is. Throw them? Impossible. As it turned out, Vanin helped escape from the nuclear submarine sinking midshipman Slyusarenko.
"SP": = - How was your life after the "Komsomolets", Boris? Probably gone soon from service, it is difficult because, having gone through this! ..
─ No, not gone, he served until 1998. I went on long hikes, though - on surface ships. I grow shift - son Gregory became a career naval officer, serving in Kaliningrad.
One of those who, after the death of "Komsomolets" as part of the State Commission understood the circumstances of the tragedy, was the captain 2 rank Alexander Pokrovsky, now known writer and seascapes.
"SP": - Alexander, how do you become a member of the Commission of Inquiry PE with "members of the Komsomol»?
─ I was working in the Commission. But it was not a member. And I did not sign the act. The task was the same: to find out the causes of fire in the rear compartment of the boat. We found: a faulty oxygen dispenser.
"SP": - Oh, my God, because of such trifles - 42 lost lives! ..
─ In the Navy, ships, especially submarines, no trifles. It is important to all. So on the dosimeter. Because of his failure, oxygen enters the aft compartment in uncontrolled amounts. His percentage could reach at least 37% or more. This calculations showed. The calculations were rough as concrete time-metering failure could not be determined. At this concentration possible spontaneous combustion of rags, clothing, oil vapor, etc. That kindled ... burnt out two aft compartment. The boat lost longitudinal stability and sank.
"SP": - I do not remember the commission's findings were published openly. Or skip?
─ As far as I know, the causes of the fire set and failed. Everything pointed to design flaws. And also on the human factor. There were many overlaps between these two components.
For example, the unique boat, which is the "Komsomolets", with the number of members of the crew at least 70 people have set a standard oxygen unit K-4 (four cubic meters of oxygen per hour). Although it was enough to develop and install a two cubic meter - a little money. As a result, R-4 run at reduced parameters. And in the event of a malfunction of the dispenser in the open position was capable zakislorodit compartment very quickly. It's about the design flaws.
A notorious human factor showed in the inept actions of the crew in the fight for survival. To express, first of all, that the high pressure air cylinders (GNI) over the burning compartment should not have put overboard. This led to the fact that the air continues to flow into the bay and the valve closed WSC - there from the heat burned paronitovye gasket sealing valve in the closed position.
The commission's conclusions can be found in the main designer of the project Romanova - it stated the official version. But design flaws in the conclusions of the place almost was not. The emphasis placed by the author on the poorly trained crew. What we can agree, but only partly. Some design flaws I cited, and they are determined.
"SP": - In the campaign against the "Komsomolets" is gone, you know, the second crew. Traditionally, its preparation considered worse than the first. Apparently, it also said. I am your fellow officers told once that the problem arose from the life-rafts because of the lack of training of professional participants of a campaign for a possible emergency.
─ Yes, the crew began to make rafts out of the boat, although their automatic return had only produce simple manipulations inside the ship. In addition, most of the people died from hypothermia in the water as they fell into the sea in what was. But when valishsya overboard, do you prepare for it! Put on the rescue diver diving suit (EGR). It set up the hands - and floating on the waves as you want. Half of the crew from hypothermia, we lost.
"SP": - Hero of the Soviet Union, Vice-Admiral Yevgeny Chernov in the early 1990s, told me that he was accused of the death of the boat. He's headed the commission on its acceptance in 1983. Very worried because of this. What do you think about this? From Chernov seems to want to make a "scapegoat»?
─ switchman we are always looking for. Not only among designers. Chernov was not the first nor the last in this respect of the sailors.
"SP": - In your opinion, everything is done to rescue the sailors "Komsomolets", who was in the icy water of the Norwegian Sea? First Aid - domestic fishing mother ship "Alexey Khlystov" appeared in time to a place only forty minutes.
─ In order to save the crew did everything they could: sent to all surface ships and vessels bystanders.
"SP": - The Americans then "come off", not so much rejoicing in the death of the submarine and the people, but gloating against the USSR. But they have since the accident happened on the seas, oceans. If you compare how behaved in such cases, the management of their fleet, as protected by their families, and our sailors?
─ Americans are very well protected. The insured and the people there no risks. We are all an accident on what is relevant to the people. I would say - the scornful.
"SP": - You, when they themselves sailed on submarines, major incidents?
─ This type of state of emergency as the "Komsomolets", of course, was not. In detail, two or three small fire for avtonomku. It's practically the norm in our fleet. A couple of times sank to the depth, but the commander had saved - time to give command to the ascent. It all depends on the commander of the crew, training, coordination of work. "Splavannosti" crew. It's trains.
Since 1995, according to the Order-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, April 7 in Russia is celebrated as the Day of Remembrance of the dead submariners - in memory of the tragedy in the Norwegian Sea.
Help "SP»:
Basic tactical and technical data submarine "Komsomolets»
displacement of above-water - 7800 tons;
Displacement underwater - 9700 tons;
length - 110 meters;
width - 12 meters;
underwater speed - 26 knots (according to other 36-38 knots);
immersion depth - up to 1000 meters;
crew - 65 people.

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