Kursk lifting to start at midnight

Publish date: October 7, 2001

Written by: Viktor Khabarov

The reports of the Kursk being jerked easily off the seabed were not true, vice admiral Mikhail Motsak, the head of Northern Fleet's rescue expedition, said today. No such attempts have been made so far, added vice admiral Motsak.

Motsak did not specify when the actual lifting operation starts but said that the first attempt to jerk the submarine may be performed this night. The preparation works will take approximately six hours.

The strands connecting the Kursk to the Giant 4 barge received a load of 4,000 tonnes. But the load to start lifting the Kursk should be around 4,900 tonnes, Motsak said.

In addition, radiation-monitoring devices must be installed and the divers will make the final check whether the grappling devices are inserted into the holes in submarine’s hull properly. Then, two unmanned remotely controlled submersibles will be lowed down to the Kursk to monitor the lifting.

Answering the question whether the torpedo section is separated completely from the rest of the hull, Motsak said that the Dutch specialists from Mammoet are confident the section is fully cut off. Most of the divers and the experts from Rubin design bureau are of the same opinion, but there are those who are still in doubt. We will be 100% confident in that fact when we start lifting the submarine, Motsak said.

After the submarine is lifted up to the Giant 4 barge, the barge will be towed to Roslyakovo shipyard, 5 km from Murmansk. The speed of the barge will be around 3 knots, the route will largely depend on weather. The weather reports for the coming several days are controversial.

After the submarine is towed away, the Mayo ship will stay in the area of the accident for one extra day to collect some additional parts of the torpedo section.

This is apparently done to gather the additional evidence for the investigation of the cause of the Kursk accident on August 12th 2000.