Recovery work inside the “Kursk” wound up on account of high risks involved
Divers working inside the fourth section of the sunken "Kursk" submarine during the last two days have managed to move forward a mere two meters. High piles of broken equipment with protruding sharp edges, which may damage diving dress and air hoses, obstruct their progress. If obstacles prove insurmountable, the search for bodies of "Kursk" crewmen will be soon discontinued, said Northern Fleet spokesman.
Relatives identified today the last two dead seamen recovered from the sub. They are Chief Petty Officer Vyacheslav Maingashev of Khakasia, Siberia, and Seaman Roman Kubikov of Kursk, Central Russia. The bodies will be sent home on November 8. A total of 12 have been discovered so far.
Northern Fleet spokesman Vladimir Navrotsky told Interfax that the operation inside the fourth section had been halted today because of bad weather and high risks involved. Speaking in an interview with RIA Novosti later in the day he said it made no sense to continue work in the fourth section. Nor was it sensible to descend into the fifth section because divers would be unable to reach its lower decks where people might have been stranded. The first and second sections were practically destroyed. Divers had failed to penetrate the third section on account of poor visibility and its being cluttered with the debris. The sixth section held the reactors and could not be penetrated either. Currently, divers were studying the area of the first section, the overall state of the hull and the seabed around the sunken sub. This was needed both in order to identify causes of the disaster and to prepare a technical plan for salvaging the cruiser in the summer of 2001, said Navrotsky.
Following a discussion held aboard the "Regalia" earlier this day with the participation of representatives of the Rubin designing office and Norwegian and Russian heads of the operation, it was decided to wind up the recovery work inside the "Kursk." It cannot be ruled out that the "Regalia" will set sail for Norway tonight or in the morning Wednesday, claimed Navrotsky.
According to an Interfax report, the "Regalia" left the area of operation at 2.30 p.m. Moscow time and set course for Normay.