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Soviet Museum submarine to be scrapped

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Soviet Museum submarine to be scrapped

Postby Tom Dougherty » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:47 pm

The Juliett class K-77 in Providence, RI was sunk in a storm in 2007. Although raised by Army & Navy divers, the submarine is beyond reasonable repair after being flooded for many months.

This submarine was used for the surface shots in the movie "K-19: the Widowmaker" A fiberglass sail and stern extension converted it into a resonable facsimile of a Hotel class SSBN.

Press Release
December 24, 2008
Agreement Reached on Disposition of Russian Submarine

PROVIDENCE, RI: The Russian Sub Museum today announced an agreement on the future disposition of the former Soviet cruise missile submarine K-77, which sank at her Providence waterfront mooring during a vicious storm in April of 2007. The sub, popularly known as Juliett 484, was raised this summer by Army and Navy divers in a training exercise that received worldwide attention.

Rhode Island Metals Recycling, LLC has contracted to take over the sub, move it downriver to property it controls at 434 Allens Avenue, and eventually dismantle the vessel for scrap if no one steps up to buy the vessel intact. Detailed terms of the agreement are confidential and were not announced.

The submarine, featured in the 2002 Harrison Ford film “K-19: The Widowmaker,” was a local attraction and educational facility from August 2002 until it sank. It was open daily for tours, and events ranging from Scouting overnights to birthday parties took place there.
“We made every effort to figure out a way to restore this historic vessel and reopen her as a public attraction,” said Frank Lennon, director of the Russian Sub Museum. “Marine surveyors and salvage experts helped us evaluate the options, and we finally concluded that after 15 months underwater, the condition of the interior is such that restoration is simply not a financially viable option for our group,” he explained.

However, Ed Sciaba, representing Rhode Island Metals Recycling, understands that the restoration option may well work for someone else. “Given the condition of the world scrap metals market, there is still a good chance for another end user to step in, purchase the sub and relocate it,” says Sciaba.

If the sub is indeed scrapped, the Museum will first remove and preserve certain equipment for a future display about Soviet Cold-War era submarines in general, and K-77 in particular. Lennon will also allow Russian sub museums elsewhere in the world to purchase certain artifacts and equipment they may be lacking in their own displays. “We plan to remove items such as the periscopes, torpedo tube doors, missile firing stations, engine order telegraphs, and various other controls and gauges,” he explained.

Lennon noted that the timing for this transaction was not ideal, given local and world economic conditions. However, the sub must be moved from its current location. Repairs to the piers damaged in the original sinking cannot begin until the sub departs, and all concerned would like to see Collier Point Park and its public boat ramp reopened. The new site is also more protected.

“Our landlord, Dominion Energy, as well as the Coast Guard and other regulatory agencies have been patient with us through this whole ordeal,” said Lennon. “We owe it to them to move the sub as quickly as possible.”
According to the terms of the agreement, the sub will be towed away before the end of January.[/b]
Tom Dougherty
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Postby U-5075 » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:18 pm

Save a Sunken Soviet Sub from the Scrapyard
By Keith Barry

From Rhode Island comes news that a sunken Soviet submarine also suffered from lackluster seasonal sales. If no buyer comes forward with the funds to restore the vessel -- formerly the prime attraction at the Russian Sub Museum in Providence, RI -- this after-Christmas sale will truly be final.

After a disastrous April 2007 storm sank the Juliett-class sub known alternately as Juliett 484 and K-77, it sat at the bottom of Providence Harbor until military dive and salvage teams used pumps and inflatable pontoons to rise it above sea level in June of 2008. Back then the sub's owners were hopeful that a buyer would restore the vessel and use it as a museum, or at least re-submerge it for a dignified use as a reef.

"Based on the input we received from experts, the cost of restoring it was beyond our capabilities," Museum director Frank Lennon told the AP. "We remain hopeful that someone will step forward who might be interested in taking over the stewardship of this very interesting Cold War relic." Unfortunately, if no such buyer is apparent by the end of January, the sub will be sold for scrap.

It would be a shame to see K-77 recycled into cans of dog food in light of its terrifying and varied history. In its prime, it was a ballistic missile submarine intended to launch nuclear attacks on the United States. After some years of tracking US aircraft carriers, the sub was decommissioned in 1994 and turned into a floating restaurant and bar by investors in Finland. After that venture sank, it became the set for the film K-19, The Widowmaker. The sub was towed to Rhode Island in 2002 for use as a "floating classroom" in Providence. Unfortunately, the no-longer watertight sub sank in April of 2007.

Should buyers balk at paying to fix a 43-year-old sub, they could always get a brand new Seattle 1000. More than a historical curiosity, the Seattle is an actual working luxury submarine with 5 staterooms and an interior that is "very luxurious with rich fabrics, beautiful woods and replete with the finest leathers," according to manufacturer U.S. Subs. Each sub is custom made with a build time of 24 months at a cost of $19.7 million. According to, some luxury subs include wine cellars and as many as five bathrooms. Owners include Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

We tried to get a comment and some pictures from Jean-Claude Carme, U.S. Subs' VP of Marketing, but it seems that his phone wouldn't work 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Check out their website for floorplans.
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