Forgot password?
submarines shipbuilding Black Sea Fleet exercise Pacific Fleet Russian Navy Northern Fleet strategy cooperation Ukraine visits Russia piracy missiles trials Sevastopol history Sevmash presence contracts drills Baltic Fleet industry incident anti-piracy shipyards Gulf of Aden frigate training Somalia India developments reforms opinion Borei procurements policy Russia - India aircraft carrier Crimea arms exports USA St. Petersburg France financing tests Bulava Yury Dolgoruky Serdiukov US Navy Mediterranean cruise Zvezdochka NATO innovations Indian Navy United Shipbuilding Corporation Medvedev Arctic agreements commission Admiralteyskie Verfi Admiral Gorshkov Vladivostok Mistral accident hijacking corvettes overhaul anniversary Russia - France Admiral Kuznetsov Vysotsky Rosoboronexport event ceremony Yantar Severomorsk negotiations defense order conflict aircraft China deployment naval aviation Black Sea investigations Putin Varyag coast guard Novorossiysk Vikramaditya landing craft marines crime Far East meeting Severnaya Verf scandals memorials Syria traditions escort statistics South Korea Japan Yasen Neustrashimy tenders convoys Marshal Shaposhnikov Admiral Chabanenko Ukrainian Navy Chirkov problems Severodvinsk reinforcement tension technology tragedy firings search and rescue Caspian Flotilla upgrade hostages provocation Baltic Sea Almaz Moskva frontier service court Turkey Dmitry Donskoy keel laying rumors Kilo class shipwreck World War II Petr Veliky Kaliningrad death Admiral Panteleyev Atalanta helicopters Norway Rubin Admiral Vinogradov patrols Russia-Norway delivery
Our friends russian navy weapons world sailing ships
Tell a friend Print version

The 21-th anniversary since the Russian K-219 ballistic missile submarine catastrophe

06.10.2007 On 3 October 1986, while on patrol 680 miles (1100 km) northeast of Bermuda, K-219 suffered an explosion and fire in a missile tube. The seal in a missile hatch cover failed, allowing seawater to leak into the missile tube and react with residue from the missile's liquid fuel. The Soviet Navy claimed that the leak was caused by a collision with USS Augusta (SSN-710). Augusta was certainly operating in proximity, but the United States Navy denies any collision (see below). K-219 had previously experienced a similar casualty; one of her missile tubes was already disabled and welded shut.
Three sailors were killed outright in the explosion. The vessel surfaced to permit its twin nuclear reactors to be shut down, which was only accomplished when a 19-year old enlisted seaman, Sergei Preminin, sacrificed his life to secure one of the onboard nuclear reactors by hand, trapped in the engine compartment. Captain Second Rank Igor Britanov was ordered to have the ship towed by a Soviet freighter back to Gadzhievo, her home port, some 7,000 kilometers (4350mi) away.
Although a towline was attached, towing attempts were unsuccessful, and after subsequent poison gas leaks into the final aft compartments and against orders, Britanov ordered the crew to evacuate onto the towing ship. Britanov remained aboard K-219.
However, K-219 abruptly sank into the Hatteras Abyss on 6 October 1986, in a depth of about 6,000 meters (18,000 ft). K-219's full complement of nuclear weapons was lost along with the vessel.
Preminin earned the Red Star, awarded posthumously, for his bravery in securing the reactors. Britanov was charged with negligence, sabotage, and treason. He was never imprisoned, but waited for his trial in Sverdlovsk. In May 1987, after a new Defense Minister took office in Moscow, the charges against Britanov were dismissed.
In 1997, Warner Brothers released the HBO movie Hostile Waters, starring Rutger Hauer, Martin Sheen, and Max von Sydow, based on a book by the same name, which claimed to describe the loss of K-219.
GOD blessing!

Back to the list

Back to news list