Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Russian Sub in Rhode Island

If you've ever read my profile on the geocaching website, you know that I found my 300th geocache on board the Russian Juliett-Class Submarine in Providence, Rhode Island.

Back when I found the geocache, it looked like this...


Well, it was a good thing I found it back then, because the submarine subsequently SANK during a storm in April of 2007. Here's what it looked like afterwards...

(Note this is taken from same angle as previous photo)

In the latest news, efforts are being made to raise the sunken submarine.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 7, 2008) Navy Divers enter the Providence River to begin diving operations on the wreck of the former Soviet submarine Juliett 484. Navy and Army divers, along with federal, state, and local authorities, participate in a joint service operation to raise the sunken submarine at Collier Point Park in Providence. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric Lippmann (Released)
I wonder if any of those Navy Divers are geocachers and if they'll grab my geocoin that I left in the geocache. If any of you diver guys are reading this: It's in the Doc's office. It's an ammo can painted white with a red cross like a first aid kit.


Ruth Burkett said...

But why did it sink? And in Providence, RI, at that.

SonarMan said...

I live about an hour from Providence, so the boat sinking was a big local story here.

At the end of the Cold War, a Finnish businessman married to the only daughter of Finland's President Mauno Koivisto, used his influence to sell him two Juliett-class submarines, one of which was the K-77 (Juliett U-484). This Juliett became an off-beat bar and restaurant as well as a tourist attraction.

In 1998, the submarine was leased to a Canadian promoter and towed to Tampa Bay, Florida. However, plans to develop the K-77 as a tourist attraction in St. Petersburg harbor proved a failure. In time, the promoter was forced to file for bankruptcy. Control of the K-77 reverted again to the Finnish businessman. Not interested in returning the K-77 to Finland, he attempted to auction it on E-Bay for a starting price of $1 million (US). There were no serious bidders.

However, the auction attempt did draw the notice of Intermedia Film Equities Ltd., who chartered K-77 for $200,000 to shoot the action drama K-19: The Widowmaker, starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson. In 2000, the submarine was towed to Halifax, Nova Scotia for filming.

In 2002, the K-77 was purchased by the USS Saratoga Museum Foundation and towed from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Collier Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island. The Russian Submarine Museum was formally opened to the public in August 2002.

The reason it sank was due to a severe rainstorm, which cause the water level at the pier to rise. But not the boat with it; the boat rose as far as it could on it's moorings, and then starting heeling over until the after hatch went blow the waterline. It was all over after that.