Farewell ceremony given to K-19 nuclear submarine

The K-19 nuclear submarine was bidden farewell at a ceremony held at the Nerpa ship-repair factory in Snezhnogorsk yesterday. The submarine will soon be destroyed.

The K-19 submarine became world-famous after the Hollywood production of K-19: The Widowmaker, which showed the heroics of the submarine's crew. The plot was based on the real events of 42 years ago. On July 4, 1961, while K-19 was in the North Atlantic for training purposes, the reactor's emergency control system suddenly came on and the crew began a desperate battle to save the submarine and its crew. Several submariners' lives were sacrificed in preventing a nuclear catastrophe. During its years of service, the K-19 experienced several accidents including fires and collisions both on the surface and under water. It was nicknamed Hiroshima as a result of these misfortunes.

Only 15 people were present at the farewell ceremony including former crew members of the ship. The US is financing the destruction process of the K-19. Russia made this request during US Senator Al Gore's visit to the Murmansk Region in 2002. He has initiated such financial projects before.

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