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Friday, 6 July, 2001, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Kursk salvage team sets sail
Graphic of the lift
Divers will prepare the Kursk for lifting
Divers involved in plans to salvage the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk have set for sail from a Scottish port.

The diving support vessel Mayo left Aberdeen to take the the team to the Barents Sea, where the Kursk sank last August with the loss of 118 crewmen.

The British and Russian divers will work to secure the hull of the Kursk in preparation for lifting.

The Mayo, operated by Dutch company Mammoet, is expected to take a week to reach the dive site in the sea off the northern coast of Russia.

Diving support vessel Mayo
The Mayo is preparing to depart
Final preparations had taken place on the Mayo on friday afternoon at Aberdeen Harbour.

The nine Russian divers who arrived in Scotland earlier this week had been familiarising themselves with the equipment and procedures on board.

They will be operating alongside the British divers working for the Aberdeenshire-based diving company DSND.

The journey to the site of the Kursk will take about seven days, including two training days.

The aim is to complete the complex operation to prepare the hull so the submarine can be raised before the onset of winter.

Media row

A row broke out on Wednesday after four Russian television news crews were not allowed to film on board the Mayo.

A heated exchange took place between the Russian journalists and two representatives of Mammoet.

The journalists were incensed at what they saw as an unhelpful attitude by the Dutch company.

There has also been fierce media criticism in Russia of the authorities' handling of the Kursk disaster.

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See also:

04 Jul 01 | Scotland
Russian media row over Kursk
02 Jul 01 | Scotland
Confusion over Kursk salvage
29 Jun 01 | Scotland
Divers prepare for Kursk lift
25 May 01 | Europe
Russia opens Kursk salvage site
15 May 01 | Europe
Kursk salvage hit by cash hitch
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