Documentary-Game Made of Kursk Disaster


By The Maritime Executive 07-06-2018 07:05:23

Game developer Jujubee has announced that it will release what it says is the first ever documentary-adventure game on October 11. Titled Kursk, it will focus on the tragedy of the Russian submarine K-141 Kursk, which sank in the Barents Sea in August 2000. 

The game's plot will be largely based on facts, making the player a witness to the dramatic events that unfolded at the time, says Jujubee.

“We believe the time has come to tell real stories,” said Micha? St?pie?, CEO of Jujubee. “In an age in which we compete for the free time of consumers against the entire entertainment industry, including movies and TV series, and when people are less likely to read non-fiction, game producers have an additional obligation. It's true that games are becoming more complex, offering an incredible audio-visual experience, and allowing us to lose ourselves in a virtual world, but they rarely help us grow. That is why we want to step outside the self-contained world of video game subject matter and invite players to broaden their knowledge about history or the actual world.”

The Kursk Tragedy

The Kursk submarine was lost on August 12, 2000, killing all 118 personnel on board. Nearby ships registered an initial explosion and a second, much larger, explosion two minutes and fifteen seconds later. The Russian Navy did not realize immediately that the submarine had sunk and therefore did not initiate a search until around six hours later. Because the submarine's emergency rescue buoy had been intentionally disabled, it took more than 16 hours to locate the submarine.

Over four days, the Russian Navy used four different diving bells and submersibles to try to attach to the escape hatch, without success. On the fifth day, President Vladimir Putin accepted British and Norwegian offers of assistance. Seven days after the submarine sank, Norwegian divers finally opened a hatch to the escape trunk in the submarine's ninth compartment, hoping to locate survivors, but found it flooded.

An official investigation concluded that the crew of Kursk was preparing to load a dummy torpedo when a faulty weld in the casing of the practice torpedo caused high-test peroxide to leak, which caused the kerosene fuel to explode. The initial explosion blew off the internal torpedo tube cover and the external tube door, ignited a fire, destroyed the torpedo room, destroyed the bulkhead between the first and second compartments, severely damaged the control room, incapacitated or killed the control room crew and caused the submarine to sink. 

The fire resulting from this explosion in turn triggered the detonation of multiple torpedo warheads after the submarine struck bottom. This second explosion collapsed the bulkheads between the first three compartments and all the decks, tore a large hole in the hull, destroyed compartments four and five and killed everyone still alive who was forward of the nuclear reactor in the fifth compartment. 

Following salvage operations, analysts concluded that 23 sailors in the sixth through ninth compartments had survived the two explosions. They took refuge in the small ninth compartment and survived more than six hours. When oxygen ran low, crew members attempted to replace a volatile potassium superoxide chemical oxygen cartridge when it contacted oily sea water that had seeped into the compartment. The resulting explosion killed several crew members and triggered a flash fire that consumed the remaining oxygen, suffocating the remaining survivors.