The Dutch are a seafaring nation. A lot of Dutch history is made on water, and even the country itself is safe from the sea by the dikes. With pride for the technical accomplishment and sorrow for the seamen who lost their lives, the Dutch follow the last journey of the Kursk back to the shores of Russia.
The Kursk has reached Kola, near Murmansk under the Dutch ship Giant-4 on its way to the harbour Roslyakovo. This was after a very technical and difficult lift of the submarine from the bottom of the Barents Sea. The performance of Dutch companies Mammoet and Smith Internationale, which made the salvage of the wreck possible, has filled the Dutch with pride, and all the developments around the lifting of the sub and its journey home got a lot of attention in the Dutch press, even during the events in the US and Afghanistan. The salvage operation was possible to make partially owing to the new technological discoveries, which can be a great benefit for the Dutch to keep their leading position in this kind of operations.
On the other hand the seafaring tradition has made the Dutch very aware of the dangers of the sea and the feeling of loss it gives, when a seaman goes out and falls victim to the sea. In these days again the thoughts of many Dutch people is with the families, who lost someone in the Kursk tragedy. This feeling is familiar to all of them.
Richard Wagenaar PRAVDA.Ru The Netherlands
AP photo: The tugboat Smitwils, front, tows the Giant 4 barge, right, with the sunken Kursk nuclear submarine, unseen, which was lifted on steel cables and put under the barge, as they enter the Kola Gulf of the Barents Sea, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2001
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969