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Soviet and Russian Peacetime Submarine Accidents

Date Details
July 4, 1961 The Hotel-class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine K-19 suffers a major leak in the coolant system of its nuclear reactor. The contamination is so severe that the crew must be evacuated, and the K-19 towed home. The damaged reactors must be removed and replaced, taking K-19 out of service for two years. 8 men die of acute radiation poisoning.
September 8, 1967 The November-class attack submarine K-3 is again involved in a serious accident when she suffers a fire in her hydraulic system. Although able to return to port under her own power, 39 crewmen are killed.
April 11, 1968 The Golf-class diesel-powered ballistic missile submarine K-129 sinks in 16,000 feet of water in the Pacific, about 750 miles northwest of the island of Oahu, Hawaii, killing all aboard. In 1974, the CIA attempts to raise the submarine. The effort is known as "Project Jennifer". The CIA is only partially successful.
May 24, 1968 The modified November-class (Project 675) nuclear- powered attack submarine K-27 suffers a major reactor accident while at sea. 9 men die of radiation exposure.
April 8, 1970 The November-class nuclear-powered attack submarine K-8 sinks in rough seas during a tow-rescue attempt in the Bay of Biscay after a fire. 52 men, including the Captain, are lost. The K-8 had been involved in a major reactor accident in 1960.
February 24, 1972 The Hotel II-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine K-19 catches fire while on patrol in the North Atlantic. 12 crewmen are trapped in an after compartment, and cannot be rescued for 24 days. Damage is severe enough that the submarine needs to be towed to port, a rescue effort that requires the participation of over 30 soviet ships. A total of 28 crewmen die in the fire.
June 13, 1973 The Echo II-class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine K-56 suffers an unknown type of reactor accident. 27 crewmen are killed.
September 26, 1976 The Echo II-class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine K-47 suffers a fire while returning from a routine patrol. 8 crewmen die of injuries.
August 19, 1978 Another Echo II-class submarine suffers a propulsion failure west of Scotland and must be towed home.
August 21, 1980 An Echo II-class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine surfaces in the Philippine Sea after a fire and propulsion failure. It also must be towed back to port. Reports indicate as many as 9 crewmen died.
October 27, 1981 A Wiskey-class diesel-powered attack submarine runs aground in Swedish territorial waters, near a Swedish naval base, apparently while on a intelligence-gathering mission.
August 8, 1982 While on patrol in the Barents Sea, the Alfa-class nuclear-powered attack submarine K-123 suffers a coolant leak in its liquid-metal cooled reactor. Damage is so severe that the reactor must be removed and replaced. The K-123 is lost to service for over 8 years.
June 24, 1983 The Charlie-class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine K-429 sinks in the North Pacific. Most or all of the crew are killed. The submarine is salvaged by the Soviet Navy in August, one of the few cases of a nuclear powered submarine being lost and later being salvaged.
November 2, 1983 A disabled Victor III-class nuclear-powered attack submarine surfaces in the Atlantic between Bermuda and South Carolina. Soviet ships tow it to Cuba for repairs.
September 20, 1984 A Golf II-class diesel-powered ballistic missile submarine surfaces in the Sea of Japan after catching fire. The submarine returns to port under her own power.
October 6, 1986 The Yankee-I class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine K-219 sinks in the Atlantic, 680 miles northeast of Bermuda, after suffering an explosion and fire. The seal in a missile hatch cover failed, allowing sea water to leak into the missile tube. The sea water reacted with fuel residue from the liquid-fuled missile, causing an explosion and fire. Three crew members are killed outright. A fourth crewmember, an enlisted seaman, dies after successfully securing the nuclear reactor by hand, when he is trapped in the engine compartment. The submarine is intentially scuttled by the captain when attempts to tow it fail. The seaman is postumously awarded the Red Star for his bravery.
April 7, 1989 While on its first patrol, the Mike-class nuclear-powered attack submarine K-278 (Komsomolets) catches fire and sinks in the Barents Sea north of Norway. There are conflicting reports about the number of survivors. Some reports claim only one survivor. Other reports indicate as many as 25 crew members were rescued.
June 25, 1989 While returning from patrol, the Echo II-class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine K-192 (ex-K-131) suffered a reactor accident. Radiation contamination is so severe that the K-192 is removed from service. She remains unusable and unrepairable to this day.
27 September, 1991 A new construction Typhoon-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine reportedly suffers a missile mis-fire during a missile test-firing. As a consequence of this damage, all Typhoon-class subs are modified to carry a new, more modern ballistic missile.
26 January, 1998 During routine tests aboard a moored nuclear-powered submarine, a cooling system pipe breaks, releasing ammonia and nitrogen gas into the compartment. A total of 5 crew members are injured, and one, a Captain of the 3rd Rank, succumbes to his injuries while in the hospital on 28 January. This submarine is reportedly the Oscar-II nuclear-powered guided missile submarine Tomsk.

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