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GORNO-ALTAISK, August 2 (Itar-Tass) —— An operation to lift a boat that sank in Lake Teletskoye on July 11 has been suspended, a spokesman for Altai territory emergencies administration told Itar-Tass on Monday.
According to the spokesman, rescuers had to suspend the works because they need to repair damages inflicted on the deep-water equipment that arrived from Moscow. The boat is lying at a depth of about 200 meters, and due to technical parameters divers cannot submerge that deep. It is not yet clear when the operation will be resumed, the spokesman noted.
On July 15, Falcon submersibles arrived from Moscow to join in the search and rescue operations. So far, however, all attempts to lift the boat have been void.
The accident took place at on July 11 when the Volga-type hydrofoil, which was making a pleasure voyage, overturned and sank some 30 kilometres off the settlement of Artybash of the Turachaksky district of the republic. There were 13 persons onboard the vessel, and nine were taken from the water by motorboats passing by. Four persons, including a teenager of 13-14 years of age, are still reported missing.
A criminal case has been opened on charges of violations of safety rules.
According to preliminary data, the driver of the vessel exceeded speed limits and lost control. He was arrested.
Lake Teletskoye is the largest lake in the Altai Mountains and the Altai Republic, Russia. It is one of 25 deepest lakes in the world, having a depth of up to 325 metres. Situated at a height of 434 m (1,424 ft) above sea level, the lake is 78 km (48 miles) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide and lies between the mountain ridges Korbu and Al-tyntu, on the junction of Sailughem Mountains and Western Sayans. Its surface area is 233 square kilometres (90 sq mi); however, due to its considerable depth (325 m, 1,066 ft), the lake contains no less than 40 square km (9.6 cubic miles) of fresh water. Annual water level fluctuations are estimated at some 348 cm. The lake transparency is high, with the visibility of the lake water ranging from six to fourteen metres. About 70 rivers and 150 temporary streams flow into the lake, the largest of them, Chulyshman River, supplying more than half of the lake’s water. The lake is drained through a single outlet, the Biya River, which, after its confluence with the Katun River, forms one of Siberia’s largest rivers, the Ob River.