Russia to Raise Doomed Kursk Submarine

Friday, May 11, 2001
Russia said it will announce final plans next week to raise the Kursk submarine, which sunk last year with 118 crew on board, a senior cabinet minister said on Friday.

Russian authorities have promised since the nuclear-powered submarine sunk that they would raise it from its position about 43.5 miles north of the Russian port Murmansk and 328 ft. (100 m) beneath the surface of the Barents Sea.

The date and technical details for the project will be set on Monday, officials said. They added that guarantees for government funding would also be provided Plans previously called for the wreck to be raised in August or September.

The Kursk, one of Russia's most advanced submarines, plunged to the bottom of the Barents Sea last August after two unexplained explosions ripped through it during a training exercise.

Twelve bodies have already been recovered but work to reclaim the rest was cancelled after authorities determined conditions inside the wreck were too dangerous to continue.

It has been reported that a lack of funds delayed the estimated $70 million operation to raise the submarine; the Brussels-based Kursk Foundation is trying to gather half the funding via donors to raise the submarine.

Dutch shipping group Smit International NV said earlier this year that it expected to win a multi-million dollar order with consortium partners to salvage the vessel.

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