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Norwegian Media Claims Soviet Sub 'Nearly Crashed' With Coast Guard During Cold War

© Photo : Svch433Soviet submarine K-433 of Delta-III class in Provideniya Bay
Soviet submarine K-433 of Delta-III class in Provideniya Bay  - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.12.2021
While Norwegian writer Per Eliassen called the submarine episode "probably unique in Norwegian naval history", no sightings of Soviet submarines along the coast were confirmed by the Nordic country's authorities.
At the height of the Cold War, a Soviet submarine was discovered near the coast of Norway and was allegedly close to crashing with a Coast Guard vessel, national broadcaster NRK has claimed.
The incident involving the surveillance vessel KNM "Nordkapp", formerly a whaling boat, allegedly occurred in 1961 near the island of Sørøya in Finnmark County, northernmost Norway.
According to NRK, the submarine came to the surface barely 50 metres from the vessel, shocking everyone on the bridge.

"We had to lay hard port so that we didn't collide, because we were so close", 85-year-old Frits Jensen, then a crew member of the "Nordkapp", told NRK.

According to Jensen, four people were visible on the tower of the submarine. He tried to contact them, but they did not respond. Ultimately, the Norwegian vessel followed the Soviet submarine out into international waters for three hours, Jensen said, adding that it was equipped with torpedoes both at the fore and the stern.
The submarine reportedly encountered at Sørøya beyond a doubt belonged to the "Whiskey" class, according to Jensen. This is an umbrella term for several Soviet sub projects built in the 1950s during the early Cold War years. Incidentally, the same type of submarine ran aground off Karlskrona in Sweden in 1981 in one of the most famous episodes of the Cold War and sometimes referred to as "Whiskey on the Rocks".
Writer Per Eliassen, the author of the book "The Coast Guard: Police and Samaritan", ventured that the Finnmark incident is "probably unique in Norwegian naval history". Throughout the Cold War, many observations were reported from people who thought they had seen Soviet submarines along the coast. Yet, these sightings were never confirmed by the Norwegian authorities, who in 1972 undertook an unsuccessful 16-day-long submarine hunt at Sognefjord.
Jensen also recalled that there were sinking mines on board the "Nordkapp", venturing that the Soviets were fearful they could be used.
Per former naval officer Jacob Børresen, though, Norway had "very strict and public rules" for the use of weapons, and it was never the intention to sink submarines. Instead, he suggested that the Soviet sub encountered technical difficulties.
Some 50 years later only the descriptions of eyewitnesses are available. According to Jensen, they sent the pictures and films they had taken to the Norwegian Armed Forces, leaving no copies to themselves.

During the preparatory phase for the book, author Per Eliassen discovered that the logs from the "Nordkapp" were no longer available either.
In recent years, "sightings" of Russian submarines have become more common across Scandinavia again amid souring relations and overall tensions between Russia and the West. Arguably the most notorious example is the painfully ineffective and embarrassingly unsuccessful 2014 search in the Stockholm archipelago, where the Swedish military first claimed "unambiguous" evidence of violation and launched a weeks-long operation, to produce nothing but grainy footage by curiosity seekers.
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