Vladimir Putin pays visit to Northern Fleet headquarters Severomorsk in 2014. Photo: Kremlin.ru

Report to the President: super-secret submarine «Losharik» will be repaired and taken back in service

The fire started in the battery compartment, but did not affect the reactor, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reports to Vladimir Putin.
July 04, 2019

According to the defense minister, the special purpose submarine can be fully restored and taken back in service. Sergey Shoigu in Thursday morning met with President Putin following his trip to Severomorsk, the Northern Fleet headquarters, on Wednesday.

«The constructors of the vessel and industrial representatives have been engaged in order to estimate the work volume and time period needed for the restoration of the ship,» Shoigu told the President.

«Our first assessment shows that repair is possible, [and] in our case it is not only possible, it it absolutely required,» the defense minister underlined.

He also made clear that the reactor compartment is unaffected by the accident. It is isolated and without people, he told Putin.

«The crew did all required measures to protect the installation, it is in a fully workable condition, and this makes us hope that the vessel can be restored in pretty short time.»

The fire onboard the «Losharik» (AS-31) broke out in the evening of 1 July. A total of 14 sailors died. Among them where two highly decorated Heroes of Russia, seven 1st rang captains and three 2nd rang captains. The crew included some of the the most experienced men in the Russian Navy.

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The vessel reportedly was in Russian territorial waters when the fire started. Fishermen were eye witnesses to the ship when it suddenly surfaced near the Ura Bay, about 100 km east of the border to Norway.

The Ministry of Defense on Wednesday released the list of the dead. The «Losharik» was headed by ship captain Denis Dolonsky, 1st rang captain and Hero of Russia.

Two of the dead come from Murmansk, news agency SeverPost informs. The remaining parts of the crew came from St. Petersburg.

According to the Russian Armed Forces, a special crew is now following up the families of the dead. Material support will be provided and the studies and education of the children involved will be taken care of.

It is the worst accident in the Russian Navy since 2008. According to local media, a memorial plate with the names of the sailors of the «Losharik» might be added to the memorial site of the «Kursk», the submarine that wrecked in year 2000 killing all 118 men onboard.

 

The tower of Kursk submarine today serves as a memorial in Murmansk. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

 

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