Russian Sub Rescue Update: Too Little, Too Late?

Thursday, August 17, 2000
Indecision from Russia regarding help from foreign nations in aiding efforts to rescue an estimated 118 sailors trapped in a Nuclear submarine lying on the bottom of the Barents Sea evaporated today, as Norway said that divers due to join a British bid to save 118 Russian sailors trapped in a submarine on the bed of the Barents Sea would arrive on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said on Thursday the situation around the sunken nuclear submarine Kursk was "next to catastrophic", but he hoped chances remained to save its 118 crew, Russian news agencies reported. "During the past night there were no changes for better or worse," Interfax news agency quoted Kasyanov as telling a government meeting. "We want to hope that there are chances to rescue the crew."

The navy said the crew of the Kursk submarine, on the bottom of the Arctic Barents sea since the weekend, stopped tapping SOS signals on the hull on Tuesday.

The Seaway Eagle, carrying 12-15 divers, was likely to arrive off north Russia at around midday on Saturday, roughly the same time as a separate supply vessel - the orange-painted supply vessel Normand Pioneer -- carrying a British mini-submarine which will be used to try to rescue the crew of the Kursk.

"The divers should arrive at about the same time as the British on Saturday," Foreign Ministry spokesman Karsten Klepsvik said. The ministry had initially estimated the divers would arrive on Friday night.

Russia asked Oslo and London for help on Wednesday to rescue the crew, stranded on the seabed since the weekend, despite growing worries that the bid would be too late.

The British team left the Norwegian port of Trondheim on Thursday morning for a 50-hour voyage to the site of the stricken submarine.

The Norwegian divers are due to help the British submarine in its bid to lock onto the hatches of the Kursk to let survivors escape. A string of Russian attempts to free the crew have so far failed in stormy, murky seas swept by strong currents.

Klepsvik said the Seaway Eagle could be further delayed, however, if it needed to put into port for fuel and other supplies.

Divers on the Norwegian vessel had been working on the Aasgaard oil and gas field off North Norway, operated by state oil firm Statoil.

A shipyard in northern Norway also said it had been asked whether it could make an extra piece of equipment to help link the British mini-submarine, dubbed LR5, to the hatch of the Kursk.

"We can do a job like this. If we get the contract, it will get the highest priority," Greger Mannsverk, the managing director of the Kvaerner Kimek firm, told the daily Aftenposten.

Slim Chance, But A Chance "We've got to be optimistic. There's always a chance," commander Alan Hoskins of the British navy's submarine rescue team said just before leaving for a voyage around the north of Norway due to take just over two days. "An operation like this is never straightforward. We expect it to be complicated because we know (the submarine's lying) at an angle and there are currents," he said. "But we don't know until we are there." British officials said the LR5 mini-sub had been flown to Trondheim from Scotland on Wednesday rather than to the Russian airport of Murmansk -- far closer to the crippled submarine -- because it needed to be mounted on a specialized mother ship.

"The important thing was to get it on a mother ship. There aren't too many ships capable of doing this," Commander David Stanesby said.

Maritime Reporter July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

Fire Aboard USS Mount Whitney

A fire broke out on board USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) while the ship was in Viktor Lenac Shipyard (Rijeka, Croatia) July 31, 2015. There were no personnel injuries in the fire,

South China Sea Hotline in the Works

China and Southeast Asian nations have agreed to set up a foreign ministers' hotline to tackle emergencies in the disputed South China Sea, a senior official of

Fond Farewell to HMAS Tobruk

The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC (Retd), together with the Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert, MP,

Finance

Ross is Fleet Manager, Heidmar

Heidmar announced the promotion of Duncan Ross to Fleet Manager. Duncan joined Heidmar’s London office in 2012 as vessel manager.  Prior to joining Heidmar,

Diana Shipping Nets 2Q Loss

Diana Shipping Inc. today reported a net loss of $14.1 million and net loss attributed to common stockholders of $15.5 million for the second quarter of 2015, compared to net loss of $5.

U.S. Drillers Add Rigs Despite Crude Collapse

U.S. energy firms added 5 oil rigs this week after putting 21 rigs into service last week, the most in over a year, despite a collapse in U.S. crude prices from recent highs in June,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3062 sec (3 req/sec)