Russian sub Kursk has been raised

May 9, 2001
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The news has been buried by all the war reports, but a couple of days ago, the Russians were able to raise the Kursk from the bottom and are somehow towing it back to shore. The Kursk as we remember is a very large Russian submarine that mysteriously sank after some explosions ruptured the forward sections of its hull. Divers tried to get access to the sub quickly, but were not able to save anyone from the wreck.
The latest news indicates that the sub, around 600 feet long, is being towed while still submerged. Its been secured to the bottom of a large barge and is being slowely, 0.5 knots, moved closer to shore.
Thats all the details I've found from the news reports online. I haven't seen any video or photos of the operation yet. If anyone else knows more, please add your information to the thread. I must emphasize the shear scale of this operation. Lifting a sunken ship of that size and towing it to shore is an incredible feat. I'm not aware of anything like it before. By comparison, the size and weight of the Kursk is similar to the forward section of the Titanic wreck. This may set the precedent for eventually lifting a larger piece of the Titanic, say the bow section, to the surface and then towing it back to some destination.
Don't say its impossible!
Impractical, immoral, illogical, or even improbable maybe, but not impossible.

Yuri
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I wouldn't be so sure of that. For one thing, the Kursk has not been submerged in water for close to 90 years where it would be subjected to all the damage that time and the elements can do. One must bear in mind that the Kursk was a warship and built to a far higher standard then any merchent vessel. Submarines in general are pretty rugged craft and have to be. The Titanic's bow after 90 years is a lot more fragile.

One other point to ponder, the Kursk was not submerged in a stretch of ocean two and a half miles deep. This makes a big difference.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Adam Leet

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May 18, 2001
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The Oscar II class SSGN's around 505 feet long. Titanic's bow, if I recall, is around 450-500 feet long, including the torn aft section. Mr. Standart's right: salvaging the Kursk does not make precedence for raising Titanic's bow. Considering depth, fragility of the bow section, and how deep it's buried in the mud, I think it's safe to say that it's impossible to raise her. Kursk, on the other hand, which has only been submerged for around two years, and is built to be a guided missile submarine, can handle the rigors of being lifted from the seabed, only 500 feet from the surface.


Adam
 
May 9, 2001
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Its not impossible to raise Titanic, despite the acurate points made regarding the wreck's structural integrity, or lack of. Its simply a matter of using the correct technology, and the correct method. Clearly the entire wreck could not be lifted to the surface in one piece. She wouldn't hold together, we know that. But a piece at a time maybe. Using the same hull cuting technique that was used to cut away the bow of the Kursk, the bow section of Titanic could be sliced into more managable chunks.
Now the real problem to conqure would be the mud. Titanic's bow is stuck into the seabed by almost 50 feet right at the stem. That mud would have to be removed, and the wreck stabilized with a framework around her before the cutting could begin.
Once the wreck is free of the seabed, strengthened by a support frame, and cut into managable pieces, its simply a matter of waiting for the right weather conditions to get a heavy barge with the lifting capability needed on site. They attach the cables, straps and duct-tape, and then pull her one bit at a time up to the barge. Secure the piece to the bottom of the barge, and float her back to the shore.

Now having said all that, let me also mention that this senario takes for granted that money is no object, and that the weather is great, and that lots of other things go right. Which is very unlikely in the real world. So my point is simply on the technical aspect. Its not impossible to raise this wreck if someone wanted to bad enough. The technical capability exists to do the job.
Remember, we're talking 'realm of possibility' here, not 'reality'. I don't expect this to happen tomorrow or even in the next 20 years. But I'd be willing to bet that within my lifetime, a significant part of the Titanic will be raised and displayed. My thinking tends to point toward the propellers, the anchors, the boilers, cranes, or even parts of the engines.
So mark my words, one day we will be seeing more of Titanic removed from the depths. Bigger pieces.

The Kursk just brought it home to me how our current technology is able to lift really, really, heavy stuff off the ocean floor and tow it to shore. I didn't realize there was such technology already available. The biggest and most amazing marine lifting vessel I had ever seen was the MV Blue Marlin and Black Marlin, which are semi-submergible ships that can piggy-back whole Navy destroyers across the ocean!!!
Wow! Thats just incredible to me. And it proves that size doesn't matter when it comes to what can be carried or lifted at sea. Nothing is impossible.

Yuri
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but I think by the time it become technologically possible to raise the ship. there won't be anything left of her but pieces! While she may not be disintegrating as fast as RMSTI asserts, she is disintegrating at a noticeable rate.

We may get those pieces to display, but that's it.
sad.gif


{Uhhhhh...duck tape?
eh.gif
It's great stuff but useless underwater.)

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
May 9, 2001
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Really? I didn't know it stopped working in water. Thats good to know if you go need to patch a hole in your fishing boat isn't it.

Titanic will never be raised in a shape that resembles the whole ship. Even if it were, what to do with it then??? Its not like anyone could actually walk around inside it. And even if someone did, what would be there to see???
No, its in its final resting place for the most part. But there's still plenty of Titanic to go around if someone wanted a few thousand tons of her.
As to possibility, come on, if there really was a shipment of super-conducting, elemental super-fuel on board her, still glowing inside her rusting hull, that ship, or as much as would be necessary, would be on the surface in Norfolk within a couple of years time. I have no doubt about it.

(and just between me and the computer screen, I bet the old hull would hold together much better than we would like to think. All the way to the surface baby! Sulfur nodules and all.)

In fact I think raising Titanic would be easy compared to some of the other things out there being done now. The petroleum industry alone has managed to transport and remove some platforms that are twice the size of the Titanic wreck.

Yuri

(Sorry if I seem overly optimistic. I've got the soundtrack to "PEAL HARBOR" playing in my ears as I type. It kind of gets me feeling patriotic an bold.)
 

Adam Leet

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May 18, 2001
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I hate to dim your hopes, but like Mr. Standart said, by the time it becomes technologically feasible (remember depth, condition of wreck, etc.) the wreck will be a pile of rubble. There simply won't be anything worth salvaging, except propellers and other fittings, of course.

On another note, consider the ethical matters. Should we raise the wreck? What would that accomplish? The Kursk was raised, besides to recover the remains of the crew, to ensure environmental safety. Remember that the Kursk had two nuclear reactors on board, and the prospects of those leaking, versus the cost of salvage, weighed in favor of salvage.

Titanic doesn't have nuclear reactors, nor does she have priceless valuables that would negate the economic cost of salvaging the hulk. Suffice it to say, the Titanic wreck is nothing more than a corpse, and a badly decomposed corpse at that. Any reason to bring her up would be basically to capitalize on the sensationalism Titanic brings to popular culture. I'm pretty sure that would not make good grounds in an ethical debate...


Adam
 
May 9, 2001
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Yes I agree, realistically she will never be raised as a whole because the motivation isn't there to suppot such an undertaking.
But I wish to maintain that if there ever was such strong motivation, it could technically be done.
As far as ethical concerns, man I wouldn't touch that with a 882 ft and 6-9 inch pole!!

Yuri
 
May 9, 2001
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OOPS!! Confession time! I've just seen the Discovery Channel documentary on how the Kursk was raised and I must confess that I had the wrong understanding regarding how it was being done. There were two main aspect of the raising of the Kursk that would be impossible to repeat on Titanic. These two aspects turn out to be requirements to accomplishing the job.
First, the support cables to lift the Kursk were actually secured to the Kursk's hull by drilling holes into the hull and then physically attaching the cables to the hull. This used the Kursk's own hull integrity to support the full load of the sub.
This would never work on Titanic. Not because the hull is too deteriorated, but because it was never strong enough to begin with to support such direct stress points as these. Especially on the upper decks where the metal is much thinner than the sides and bottom.

I thought they used straps placed under the sub's hull to lift it. Much like the system used to raise the Hunley. Apparently, this strap system just doesn't work for very large items. Direct cabling to the hull is whats needed to lift something of Kursk's or Titanic's size.
So forget that idea!

Second, the use of divers. I didn't realize they were using real divers to do all the work of sawing off the bow of the sub, or securing the lifting cables. There is just no way for a diver to go down to Titanic. Even if there was a suit that would protect someone from the pressure at that depth, the mobility of such a suit would be far too limited to allow the person to do the work necessary. And apparently none of this fancy engineering work can be done by ROV or other device.
So forget that idea too.

So I now return to my thinking before I read about the Kursk being raised. That someday the technology may exist to allow something the size of Titanic to be raised from the ocean floor, but not today. As of TODAY, it is indeed impossible to raise a very large section of Titanic.
I stand corrected.

Humbly,
Yuri
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I saw it last night. Ten years ago, because of the intense secrecy surrounding the Soviet/Russian Navy, such a presentation complete with home movies of the inside of the sub, such a show would not have been possible.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
May 9, 2001
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I saw the show. The home video footage by the sailor that was lost was haunting. I can't imagine the courage of those divers who had to go into that wreck and recover bodies. CREEEEEPY.

Yuri