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Attempts to Raise Russian Sub Kursk on Hold - 2001-09-29

Plans to raise the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk have been postponed again due to bad weather in the Barents Sea. Officials are still hoping to bring up the wreck of the sub before severe winter weather sets in.

The operation to bring the submarine to the surface has been delayed by increasing winds and high seas in the Russian Arctic.

An international salvage team has been working for more than two months to prepare the Kursk for lifting. Divers have drilled holes in the hull and were in the process of attaching special cables when bad weather halted work Friday.

Meteorologists say the weather will get worse over the next two days.

A giant barge with hydraulic lifts is in place directly over the Kursk, which sank more than a year ago when torpedoes in its forward section apparently exploded.

All 118 crewmen on board died in one of the worst naval disasters in Russian history.

Soon after, President Vladimir Putin promised grieving family members that the wreck would be recovered from the seabed.

A Dutch salvage company is the primary contractor in the effort to raise the Kursk in an operation expected to cost more than $100 million.

Only about two-thirds of the giant submarine will be brought to the surface.

Divers cut off the front torpedo section because of the possibility that more weapons could explode if that part of the sub was raised.

Once the submarine is brought to the surface it will be towed into port, a process which will take several more days and involve more risk due to unstable weather.