The international team bidding to raise the sunken Russian nuclear submarine, the Kursk, were today making final preparations ahead of their departure for the wreck site in the Barents Sea.
The international team bidding to raise the sunken Russian nuclear submarine, the Kursk, were today making final preparations ahead of their departure for the wreck site in the Barents Sea. There are fears, however, that a hurried operation could trigger a nuclear accident.
The crew, which includes British, Russian, Norwegian and Dutch divers and support staff, are expected to leave Aberdeen Harbour on the North Sea support vessel, the Mayo, after completing a 'familiarisation' briefing as well as preparations on the ship.
The team should take around a week to reach the site where they will prepare the wreck for a lifting operation planned for midSeptember by clearing the submarine of soil and cutting holes into the vessel to allow lifting equipment to be attached.
A spokeswoman for Dutch contractors, Mammoet Transport, who are carrying out the operation said: "The team is now loading the ship with equipment and as soon as that is finished we will be leaving but I expect that to be late on Friday evening or perhaps in the early hours of Saturday morning.
"The familiarisation programme is still ongoing and that should be completed later on Friday."
All 118 crewmen on board the Kursk were killed when the submarine sank on August 12 last year after it was rocked by a series of explosions during a training exercise.
British divers were involved in the first mission to find survivors in the stricken submarine when they sailed on the Normand Pioneer supply ship, from the Norwegian port of Trondheim five days later, but the rescue attempts were abandoned on August 21 when the submarine was found to be entirely flooded.Reuse content