Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Submarine Photos

I recently received an e-mail message from my husband that contained a link to this LiveJournal page where I found several photographs (like the one at left) of the Russian submarine Kursk after the boat had been recovered and brought into dry dock for salvage. As the wife of a former submariner, I can tell you these pictures are somewhat unnerving, illustrating the kind of damage that can occur when disaster strikes at sea. To learn more about the Kursk incident, consult this Wikipedia page for an extensive explanation of the tragedy. The introduction given there provides a good overview of the unfortunate event.
In August 2000, the Russian Oscar II class submarine (which is the world’s largest class of cruise-missle submarine) Kursk sank in the Barents Sea when a leak of hydrogen peroxide in the forward torpedo room apparently led to the detonation of a torpedo warhead, which in turn triggered the explosion of around half a dozen other warheads about two minutes later. This second explosion was equivalent to about 3-7 tons of TNT and was large enough to register on seismographs across Northern Europe.

Despite a rescue attempt by British and Norwegian teams, all sailors and officers aboard Kursk were lost. A Dutch team later recovered 115 of the 118 dead, who were laid to rest in Russia. The fate of three bodies still unrecovered is debated, but it is generally accepted that they were lost in the explosion.
Also from the Wikipedia article:
Most of the hull of the submarine, except the bow, was raised from the ocean floor by the Dutch salvage companies Smit International and Mammoet in the fall of 2001 and towed back to the Russian Navy’s Roslyakovo Shipyard…Russian President Vladmir Putin signed a decree ordering that all crewmembers will be bestowed the Order of Courage. The captain of Kursk, Gennady Lyachin, was awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation.
Thankfully, the international community recovered the Kursk, giving the families of the crew some sense of closure, and the submarine community some valuable information about how to prevent such a catastrophe from ever happening again.

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