TRAINING PHASE OF THE KURSK SALVAGE OPERATION TO START NEXT WEEK

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Izvestia (Moscow issue), May 23, 2001, p. 2

A group of divers, who will take part in the operation to raise the Kursk nuclear submarine from the seabed of the Barents Sea this summer, will start exercises next week. (…) The group will consist of the divers who raised the bodies of seamen from the submarine in October and November 2000.

Victor Ilyukhin, Deputy Director of the 40th Defense Ministry Salvage Research Institute, told the newspaper Izvestia: “The divers are to begin exercises on May 28. In general, these will be conducted according to methods tested during last year’s salvage operation in the Barents Sea.”

The divers will have to train in special complexes, at test stands which imitate the submarine’s compartments. Several stands are located at a depth of 100 meters, as the Kursk lies on the same depth. Next week, the divers will have to prepare the false-Kursk for raising.

The composition of the group of divers who will take part in the operation is not yet complete, but it is clear that the backbone of this team will consists of the divers who participated in last year’s operation.

(…)

The divers have much to do. Last year, divers spent 730 hours under water. This year they will have to spend about 1,500 hours on the seabed of the Barents Sea.

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