MAMMOET PREPARED TO REPORT ON EACH STAGE OF KURSK SALVAGE OPERATION

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Trud, June 30, 2001, p. 1

The Dutch company Mammoeth has refused to comment on the financial aspects of the Kursk submarine salvage effort. However, it has provided detailed information about the five stages of raising the submarine.

Franz van Seimerin, President of Mammoet, has reported that at the first stage a special pontoon 140 meters long and 36 meters wide will be equipped with 26 elevators with a capacity of 900 tons each. This operation will be done in the Dutch port of Rotterdam. Then this pontoon will be transported to the Barents Sea. Simultaneously divers will begin separating the seriously damaged front section of the submarine and drilling holes in the hull. The exact places for the holes will be indicated by representatives of the Russian Navy and the Rubin central design bureau. The holes will be made by jets of water with abrasives under high pressure. Divers will start work on July 9-10.

The main problem is the first compartment, the condition of which is not known exactly so far. According to the president of Mammoet, this section of the Kursk will be cut off and left on the seabed, so that it will be possible to raise the remaining part of the submarine as a compact load.

At the third stage, lines will be attached to the holes in the hull by means of steel grips equipped with levers. These levers will unfold inside the submarine in order to make the lines more secure.

At the fourth stage the Kursk will be raised to slightly below the pontoon. These operations can only be carried out in good weather. They will be controlled centimeter by centimeter. After the submarine is raised, it will be transported to Murmansk. There it will be lifted by backup pontoons and towed to a dry dock.

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