Repairs on Russian aircraft carrier end in disaster

Repairs to the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which recently returned from a mission on the coasts of Syria, have ended in a disaster.

On the night of Monday the 29th, the floating dry dock on which the carrier was undergoing repairs sank, sending a 70-ton crane crashing onto the carrier’s deck and ripping a hole in its hull.

Zvezdochka, the dock which sank, was built in the 1980s for the Soviet Union’s Navy, and was considered one of the largest floating docks in the world.

Four people were injured in the incident. Three were taken to hospital with hypothermia after they fell into the water of the Kola Bay, another was diagnosed with an abdominal trauma.

According to Marina Kovtun, governor of the Murmansk province, one staff member is still missing.

Russia’s Investigative Committee is pressing charges for violation of safety regulations pertaining to repair work. The investigation believes that the accident was caused by a failure to comply with the regulations for using ship-lifting structures.

The Zvezdochka dock reportedly sank due to a sudden power outage while the Admiral Kuznetsov was being lowered into the water. “There was a power surge from the coast, and as a result of this, the pumps stopped and the dock dipped unexpectedly into the water,” a representative of the shipyard explained.

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier was most likely not insured, commented Nikolay Galushin, president of the Russian National Reinsurance Company (RNRC).

“I don’t know with 100% certainty, but I am certain that this military vessel is a sanction risk, and the RNRC does not have it,” he said. By law, insurers must pass on to the RNRC at least 10% of all risks given to reinsurance, and the RNRC must take at least a 10% share in sanction risks.

Russia’s standard practice is not to insure military ships, planes, or any other Defense Ministry property, Galushin explained: “This has always been the case. Factories insure the risks of ship construction or the risks of test flights. But these are more risks which the manufacturers insure, not the entities who the items are being produced for.”

  Russia, Admiral Kuznetsov, Syria, Kola Bay