A mourning ceremony was held in Sevastopol, Saturday, to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the Kursk nuclear submarine tragedy in which 118 sailors lost their lives after the vessel sank in the Barents Sea. Following the prayer, sailors of the Black Sea Fleet and relatives who had lost their loved ones in the Kursk tragedy headed to Kommunarov Cemetery. Mourners laid flowers for the deceased... Еще crewmen, many of whom hailed from Sevastopol and worked in the submarine at various posts, ranging from midshipmen to senior officers. Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet Yuri Orekhovski, who attended the commemorative ceremony, noted that «more drills and training of various types are being conducted so that such a tragedy would never happen again.» He added that «new equipment is more reliable [and] has a higher degree of protection,» which he said is also «a factor [in ensuring that] such tragedies do not happen again.» On August 12, 2000, the nuclear-powered submarine cruiser K-141 sank in the Barents Sea following a series of explosions, which took place as a result of a chemical leak while the submarine was participating in naval exercises. The whole crew of the submarine, 118 people, died. Kursk's Captain, Gennady Lyachin, was posthumously awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation while the other 117 crew members received the Order of Courage. Launched in 1994, the 154-metre-long (505.2 ft) vessel had been in service for just under six years when it sank. It was carrying 24 cruise missiles and 24 naval torpedoes.