Explorer examines four submarine disasters: Russia's Kursk, the USS Squalus, Soviet K-19, and the USS Thresher.


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Episode credited cast:
Bob Ballard ...
Himself - Underwater Explorer (as Dr. Robert Ballard)
Tengiz Borisov ...
Himself - Vice Admiral, Russian Navy
Carl Bryson ...
Himself - USS Squalus Crewmember
Erick Encarnacion ...
Himself - US Naval Submarine School
Peter Huchthausen ...
Himself - Author, K-19: The Widowmaker
Rick Low ...
Himself - Commander, USS Portsmouth
Raymond McCoole ...
Himself - Reactor Control Officer, USS Thresher
Himself - Narrator
Lee Spencer ...
Himself - Medical Officer, USS Portsmouth
Mark Szymanski ...
Himself - Machinist's Mate, USS Portsmouth
Nadezhda Tylik ...
Herself - Sergei Tylik's Mother
Natalia Tylik ...
Herself - Sergei Tylik's Wife
Sergei Tylik ...
Himself - Kursk Crewmember (archive footage)
Nikolai Zateyev ...
Himself - Commander, K-19


Explorer examines four submarine disasters: Russia's Kursk, the USS Squalus, Soviet K-19, and the USS Thresher.

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Release Date:

28 July 2002 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Good Look at Four Sub Disasters
28 June 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Lost Subs: Disasters at Sea (2002)

*** (out of 4)

This National Geographic documentary takes a look at the dangers of being inside a submarine and we get four examples where things went tragically wrong. The documentary covers the four events of the Russian sub Kursk, the USS Squalus, APL K-19 and the USS Thresher. I think the biggest problem with this documentary is that it runs just 50+ minutes, which really isn't enough time to fully get into the four stories. I think each one of them probably could have supported their own full documentary and if you look around it seems that each one has longer stuff out there on it. With that said, those just wanting to know some of the facts around the four cases should end up enjoying this well-produced documentary. For the most part we're given good information on the subs, some of the men inside of them and the issues that caused the disaster. We get to learn about the early creations from Charles Momsen that were used to try and rescue people and we hear about the real disaster of the Thresher that resulted in 129 deaths. We also get to hear from Bob Ballard who would discover the sub years later. We also get to hear from a couple survivors from the events as well as loved ones of those who died. Again, this is far from perfect but it at least keeps you glued to the information.

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