10. Kursk Accident
One of the most famous submarine disasters of the 20th century, Kursk was a nuclear-powered Oscar II class submarine taking part in the first major Russian naval exercise in more than 10 years.
Located in the Barents Sea, one of the most hospitable places on earth, Kursk had recently won a citation for its excellent performance and been recognised as having the best submarine crew in the Northern Fleet.
Fully-loaded with a complement of conventional combat weapons, the sub had a mythical standing and was said to be unsinkable, even from a direct torpedo strike.
That reputation was blown apart on the 12th August 2000 when the crew initiated a torpedo launch using dummy torpedo’s.
At 7:29am GMT, a large seismic event of magnitude 1.5 on the Richter scale was detected at the Norwegian seismic array and in other locations around the world.
A second seismic event was detected 2 minutes and 14 seconds after the first, this time, measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale, 250 times larger than the first and detected across seismographs in Northern Europe.
Twelve hours later, searches for the doomed submarine began with the Russian Navy initially downplaying the incident, even going as far to say the naval exercise had been a resounding success.
In reality, the submarine was on the seabed, taking on water and running out of air while several attempts at rescue had failed.
Finally on the 20th August, access to the rescue trunk was achieved but no survivors were found with a massive torpedo explosion later deemed the cause of the disaster.