'K-19: The Widowmaker' Sub Must be Removed From River, Court Says

State environmental officials sued to get it and several other vessels removed

A Rhode Island court has ordered a scrapyard to remove the remnants of a Russian submarine once used as a set for a Harrison Ford movie from the Providence River.

The hull of the submarine, known as Juliett 484, rests mere feet from the shore in Providence.

After the Cold War, the sub was sold and used as a restaurant and vodka bar in Helsinki, Finland, and as a set for the 2002 Ford movie "K-19: The Widowmaker." Then it became a floating museum. It sank during a nor'easter in 2007 and was sold for scrap.

State environmental officials sued to get it and several other vessels removed.

A Superior Court judge ordered Rhode Island Recycled Metals LLC in December to begin removing vessels from the river, adjacent to its scrapyard.

The permitting process is underway. The company was supposed to apply for permits by Jan. 15 for removing the first vessel.

Those permits haven't been issued yet, according to the court-appointed special master, Richard Land, who is overseeing the cleanup. Land said he and others are discussing the matter with the court, which will likely result in an amended order with an extended timeline.

The 282-foot-long sub and a U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Saratoga, shadowed each other during the Cold War.

The sub wound up in Providence because the Rhode Island-based USS Saratoga Museum Foundation bought it and opened it to the public as a floating museum in 2002.

Both the scrapyard and the property owner, AARE LLC, are named in the lawsuit. The scrapyard has been ordered to deposit $300,000 in an escrow account to pay for removing the vessels.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard are among the agencies that have to approve the plans.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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