Russian Sub Museum Sinks In Rhode Island

For the past five years a Soviet submarine has been a popular tourist destination at a wharf in Providence, Rhode Island. On April 18, 2007, it sank.

The 40-year-old sub had been rejected and unwanted as a tourist attraction for years before it found a home in Providence. Its current owners have vowed to salvage it, although that will be expensive (though there was insurance coverage), and it will take time. The sub seems to be intact, but its waterlogged innards will need a lot of drying and touch-ups before tourists can visit it again.

On April 17 a spring storm and tidal surge pushed the sub, still tethered to its dock, onto a shoal. At first everyone thought that the sub would simply have to be dragged back to its wharf. But it listed at a steep angle, and during the night water poured into the no-longer-watertight vessel. It sank to the bottom of Providence Harbor, its cables snapping like gunshots.

We called the museum director to find out how long the sub would be out of commission, but all that his assistant would say was, "He's on the phone to the Coast Guard right now!" before he hung up.

We've joked about it before, but displaying a submarine on dry land suddenly doesn't seem like such a bad idea after all....

Half-sunk, slowly rusting.

October 18, 2017

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