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Monday, 2 July, 2001, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Confusion over Kursk salvage
The Kursk
The submarine sunk after an explosion
Russian divers playing a part in the efforts to raise the Kursk nuclear submarine have run into problems ahead of their arrival in Aberdeen.

The divers were set join a North Sea diving ship on Monday, which will be involved in preparations for the recovery of the vessel.

Operations are due to begin later this month in the Barents Sea, where the Kursk sank with the loss of its entire 118-strong crew.

However, BBC Scotland understands the north-east company which owns the diving ship still do not have a contract for the Kursk salvage.

Diving support vessel Mayo
The diving support vessel Mayo was to sail to the Barents Sea
The divers were thought to be joining the North Sea diving support vessel Mayo at Aberdeen Harbour.

The ship is operated by the locally-based diving company DSND Subsea.

The Mayo was expected to sail for the Barents Sea shortly, and to arrive over the spot where the Kursk lies in about 10 days.

However, it is understood that the company are still waiting for a contract for the Kursk operation.

The vessel's team of divers were initially to carry out an inspection of the wreck before starting cutting operations on the hull.

This would prepare it for a heavy lifting operation by Dutch contractors Mammoet Transport BV in September.

The Russian navy are to supervise the lifting of the Kursk, which was sunk by an explosion during a naval exercise last summer.

DSND offices
Aberdeenshire firm DSND operate the vessel
There were unsuccessful attempts by the Russian navy to rescue the trapped crewmen who had survived the initial accident.

It is not the first time there has been Scottish involvement in the Kursk rescue bid.

In the middle of August last year a Renfrew-based team sent a rescue sub, the LR5, to the site of the explosion.

However, the unit was never used.

It is hoped the salvage will not only result in the victims being recovered, but will explain what crippled the Kursk.

Last month Russia launched a website to cover the raising of the Kursk, following fierce media criticism of the authorities' handling of the disaster.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Eric Crockart reports
"The Russian divers were expected to arrive in Aberdeen."
The Kursk submarine accident

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29 Jun 01 | Scotland
25 May 01 | Europe
15 May 01 | Europe
12 Jan 01 | Europe
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