THE SALVAGE OPERATION IN THE BARENTS SEA: AN UPDATE

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Izvestia, September 1, 2001, p. 2

Director of the Design Bureau, Rubin Igor Spassky, and Igor Zakharov, Director of the Naval Central Research Institute, met with journalists in St. Petersburg yesterday. The latter were assured that the Kursk would be lifted, as planned, after September 15.

The operation has entered its final phase. As of now, all reports on the salvage operation will be available from the international PR center in Murmansk.

Spassky: The timetable is almost kept. Twenty-six openings were made in the hull, even earlier than the plans stipulated. There are delays with cutting the first compartment. The AMT Carrier was delayed by problems with the saw…

Divers will soon examine the site of the cutting. For the time being, the saw is being fixed, which is a task that requires special vacuum anchors. The Giant-4 will set out directly for Kirkenes. It is expected at the site by September 8. Unless foul weather interferes, the submarine will be lifted on September 15.

Spassky: We’ve played out the whole operation stage by stage – the lifting, the fixing, etc. At first we will try to get the stern from the seabed subtly. After that our foreign partners want a steel cable put below the submarine so as to get off the seabed altogether. I do not think cables can do that, but our partners say they have the necessary experience.

The academician says that even if the cable does part the operation will proceed. He expects the process of getting the submarine off the seabed to take 5 hours and the process of lifting 8.

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