Trud, August 29, 2001, p. 2
The Carrier barge from the Norwegian port of Kirkines will arrive at the Kursk site today, with equipment for cutting the damaged front section of the submarine away from the rest. According to Vyacheslav Zakharov, Russian representative of the Dutch company Mammoet, the underwater saw has been perfected in Norway and is ready for use. Work will start immediately to unload it and install it on the sea floor next to the front of the submarine. A recent storm in the area has died down, and it’s vital to take full advantage of the good weather.
But the operation headquarters is facing another unexpected problem. As we have reported previously, the Severodvinsk shipyard has been premature in preparing and launching two pontoons which are meant to support the Kursk on its way into dock. This has taken aback the punctual Dutch salvage workers from Mammoet; they are not at all happy about the pontoons being ready ahead of schedule. They ask a reasonable question: where can these huge pontoons (measuring 100 meters by 15 meters) be stored? Who will guard them, and how? The Russian Navy, the Rubin design bureau, and the salvage operation headquarters are now seeking answers.