March 29, 2017

Russian Navy|ВМФ России Rescue Tug SB-406|СБ-406 visited Jacksonville FL in 2012

Russian Navy Sea-going Rescue Tug SB-406|СБ-406
Photo Credit: Knud Olsen - 26 Nov, 2016
There is a persistent rumour on the internet that needs to be corrected, and a friend of mine encouraged me to do so   :)

Hurricane "Super Storm" Sandy was expected to hit the United States on October 26th 2012 and a nearby Russian Navy Seagoing Tug Boat SB-406|СБ-406 [IMO: 8126551] was granted safe harbour in Jacksonville, Florida... it seems.  Nobody knows exactly what berth it was at, or how it was arranged, but there are rumours that the crew went off and bought a bunch of booze and food, taking advantage of the shore leave.

Somewhere along the lines this fish story got bigger; it was an AGI "Spy Ship", and a Submarine too!

Well, from what I gather, Russian Navy officers would rather die than let you get anywhere close to an AGI or Submarine, so I'm quite sure they weren't there; there was online one tug, which wouldn't have anything classified that wasn't locked up tight.  Yes, the Russian Navy Viktor Leonov was nearby, but not in Jacksonville at that time; Havana maybe?  A submarine is below the waves and relatively unaffected by the weather, and they could scoot away anyhow, so there is no reason for them to come into Jacksonville either.

Anonymous local sources have been quoted as saying:
"The ship in question appears to be the Russian Project 712 Sliva Class Sea-going rescue Tug, SB-406. 255.8 ft. in length with a designated compliment of 43 + 10 salvage crew members. Actual job description of men on boat is unknown.
It has been estimated that up to approximately 40 crew members have been seen. Worker on site reports that he has been working there for 20 months and this is the first military ship that has docked up from any nation.
It was supposed to leave tonight (Sunday, 4 Nov) but come back in sometime after Tuesday"
I'd like to believe that an AGI, a Sub, and a Tug, all stayed in Jacksonville (or around Jacksonville) during Sandy, but it does not look likely with the evidence that is out there.



References:
http://freebeacon.com/national-security/russian-subs-skirt-coast/
http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=87496
http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1636015 (<-- likely later in the same deployment)

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