Russian submarine K-159 sinks

Aug 30, 2003
Author: P&S

The Russian Navy November-class submarine K-159 sank in the Barents Sea this morning with ten people on board. Early reports say one survivor was rescued and two bodies have been recovered with the fate of the other seven not known but presumed perished.

The submarine, which was taken out of commission in 1989, was on its way for with a delivery crew for dismantling. The Russian authorities said the vessels nuclear reactors had long been made inactive.

The casualty occurred three miles north west of Kildin Island in the Barents Sea during stormy weather. The submarine is lying in about 170 metres of water.

The November class submarines were Russia’s earliest nuclear-design strategic attack submarines – the design having been conceived in 1952 as Project 627 with the first of the class entering service five years later. The first of its class, K-3 also became the first Russian submarine to journey to the North Pole.

K-159 was commissioned for service on 11 April, 1963 and formed part of the Northern Fleet.

An air-sea rescue operation has been launched.

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