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Raising of the Kursk begins

发布时间:2019-03-06 02:15:01来源:未知点击:

By Will Knight An ambitious mission to raise the sunken Kursk nuclear submarine from the bottom of the Barents Sea has begun. A diver support ship left Scotland on Friday and will arrive above the wreck in a few days. Divers will then examine the submarine in preparation for the salvage operation. Dutch heavy lifting company Mammoet and Dutch sea salvage specialist Smit-International will carry out the recovery. They first plan to separate the damaged front of the Kursk by sawing through the submarine. Holes will then be drilled into the vessel and plugs attached so that it can be lifted by cables dropped from a 140 metre barge and towed to Murmansk in Russia. The operation will cost the Russian government an estimated £60m. The Kursk sank in August 2000, killing all 118 sailors on board. The precise cause of the accident remains unclear although seismic evidence revealed in January indicates that two explosions occurred within the vessel’s torpedo chamber. The Kursk now lies roughly 300 kilometres north-east of Norway, at a depth of 108 metres. The Russian government says it wants to recover the bodies of the Kursk crewmen and also prevent pollution from the submarine’s nuclear reactors. Captain Richard Sharpe, a former British nuclear submarine commanding officer, says that the Russian navy will also be keen to discover the precise cause of the accident and recover torpedoes with live warheads. This would require the lifting of the separated bow section. Sharpe also expresses concern about the tricky operation to raise the submarine. “It’s a hell of a job to break it in half,