Soviet underwater laboratory raised from seabed

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(added few years ago!)

A sunken Soviet underwater research laboratory has been lifted from the sea bottom to make way for a new naval base for the Black Sea Fleet. It took workers about six months to saw the lab's remains into smaller pieces - a necessary step as hauling the 18.5m long vessel to the surface would have been impossible otherwise. Previous attempts to lift the autonomous research base had failed due to its heavy weight.

"The smaller parts - the bow and the stern - were lifted last November, and this time our experts raised the main part of the submarine. It weighs about 170 tons," said Denis Yakovlev, a spokesman for a Federal Agency for Special Construction affiliated company that was in charge of the operation.
 
Just one of two such laboratories created
 
The first Bentos-300 series submersible laboratory was built in 1976 for studying underwater life. Altogether there were just two such vessels of its kind, and both were abandoned in Ukraine, where they were anchored after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
 
A storm sucked one of the labs off its pier in 1992, depositing it on the other side of the Russian-Ukrainian border, in the Novorossiisk Bay. The vessel was stuck at a depth of 6 meters, according to Rossiiskaya Gazeta, and could be seen during low-tide periods.
 
The second research vessel was lifted from near Sevastopol in Ukraine earlier and is to be delivered to the town of Balaklava. The Crimean coastal town hosts an underground repair service for submarines, a part of which has now become a museum.
 
Making way for a navel base
 
The Russian underwater laboratory would probably have been left rusting in the waters of the Black Sea, if Russia hadn't planned on building a new military harbor for its fleet. The timeline for completing the new naval base, to be created in the area of the Russia's biggest southern port of Novorossiisk, has been set at 2020, according to a special federal program.
 
The base is to get a 2,570m seawall, and since the submarine lab has now been removed, workers can continue constructing the western side of the breakwater. The future of the submarine, which was fully equipped with everything needed for 12 people to live and work under water for periods of up to two weeks, is unclear. It may become part of a museum exhibition, but a thorough restoration would be required, Newsru.com reported.
Tags : Soviet Underwater, Laboratory, Seabed

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