23/7 Tass 3
MOSCOW, July 23 (Itar-Tass) —— An operation to lift the Bulgaria pleasure boat that sank on the Volga River on July 10 will continue on Saturday.
Bulgaria’s upper deck was lifted fully on Friday evening. After that the works had to be suspended because of the coming dusk, Timur Khikmatov from the lift supervisory staff told Itar-Tass.
“The Bulgaria upper deck has been lifted fully; it is three to four meters above the water,” he said. Khikmatov added that only fine work was left which has to be carried out in daytime.
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.
There are two possible scenarios in which the lifting operation can unfold. According to the first one, the ship’ s starboard will be pressurized and water will be pumped out afloat. Under the second scenario, these works will be carried out when the ship is taken to shallow waters 40-50 meters away from the wreck site.
The Bulgaria must be lifted for learning shipwreck causes, Levitin said earlier in the day. He said that was important for future safe shipping.
The Bulgaria pleasure ship 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. In all, there were 201 people aboard, some of them unregistered. Seventy-nine were rescued. Eight are still missing.