23/7 Tass 57
MOSCOW, July 23 (Itar-Tass) — An active phase of the operation to lift the Bulgaria pleasure boat that sank on the Volga River on July 10 has not yet been resumed. As of Saturday morning, experts are deciding how to pump water from the boat.
“Now, experts are deciding whether to seal the windows and pump water while the ship is afloat or to tow the ship to shallow waters and do these works there,” Timur Khikmatov from the lift supervisory staff told Itar-Tass over the phone.
On Fiday evening, Bulgaria’s upper deck was lifted fully. After that the works were suspended because of the coming dusk.
On Friday, experts ran into some difficulties in lifting the sunken ship. At first the floating cranes raised the ship’s deck by six meters from the riverbed. Then the ship’s nose was separated from the riverbed. The nose section had to be swayed to overcome the sucking force of silt. Then another soft cable was placed under the ship to balance the burden on the cranes. Only after that it became possible to lift the upper deck to the surface.
After water is pumped from the ship, it will be taken to a dock, where investigators will examine it to establish shipwreck causes.
The Bulgaria pleasure ship, which was on a Bolgary-Kazan river voyage, sank in a storm in the Kuibyshevskoye dam lake, three kilometers away from the shore, on July 10. The ship built in Czechoslovakia in 1955 titled to the right and sank within minutes. The death toll has reached 114. According to latest information, there were 201 people aboard, some of them unregistered. Seventy-nine were rescued. Eight are still missing.