Russia: Northern Fleet Mariners Commemorate SSN Kursk


Northern Fleet (NF) mariners on Aug 12 commemorated submariners died 11 years ago in the Barents Sea on board nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) Kursk.

In basing site of SSN Kursk – Vidyaevo – memorial service was conducted early in the morning in St. Nicholas Thaumaturge Church. At 10 am a meeting was held at the memorial “To Submariners Lost at Sea“; it was attended by NF Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Andrei Volozhinsky and regional authorities. Servicemen of the nuclear submarine division which muster-roll includes names of the Kursk crew forever laid wreaths and flowers at the memorial.

“The tragedy claimed 118 lives and surged hearts of millions Russians. One may state that there were no people in Russia and all across the world indifferent to that accident in the Barents Sea”, said Rear Admiral Volozhinsky in his speech. “There is incontestable evidence that crewmen survived after explosions were trying to control damages to the bitter end. Their courage and fortitude will always be a brilliant example for Russian submariners”, concluded the officer.

Traditionally, memorial activities continued on the pier where SSN Kursk started her last cruise. People who came to honor the lost submariners of Kursk put flowers under a memorial plaque fixed on the wall of radiation monitoring center. After a liturgy served by Murmansk Archbishop Simon, wreaths were laid on the sea water in accordance with naval tradition.

At 11.24 am when an explosion burst in the sub, the calm of the Ara Bay was violated by submarine blast signals and ship horns; that is the way sailors commemorate their lost colleagues. All NF ships and subs half-masted St. Andrew’s flags, and bare-headed crews on upper decks paid honors to 118 submariners with a minute of silence.

Other NF bases also commemorated the crew of SSN Kursk. Flowers were laid at a memorial plaque fixed in 12th School, Severomorsk in honor of Kursk‘s Warrant Officer Sergei Chernyshov who used to study there. Remembrance meeting with participation of NF servicemen and representatives of Severomorsk administration was arranged at Roslyakovskoe Cemetery near the grave of Capt Lt Boris Geletin, crewmember of SSN Kursk.

Residents of Murmansk came to honor perished submariners to the Kursk‘s conning tower set next to the Savior’s Church in Murmansk.

Source: rusnavy, August 16, 2011;