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Russian mini-sub on Lake Baikal to continue work on Aug. 2

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ULAN-UDE (Buryatia, Siberia) - Repairs on one of the mini-submarines being used for the ongoing exploration of Siberia's Lake Baikal are almost complete and the research mission will continue on August 2, the expedition leader said.

The Mir-2 submersible sustained minor damage on Wednesday while being lowered from a barge with a crane. Due to a sudden gust of wind, the Mir-2 struck the side of the barge and one of its propellers was damaged.

"The repairs will be completed by tomorrow and the expedition will continue its work on August 2, according to schedule," Artur Chilingarov said.

On Tuesday, Mir-1 and Mir-2 mini-subs descended to one of the deepest points of what locals call the 'Sacred Sea'.

The crew initially claimed to have reached a depth of 1,680 meters (5,500 feet), which would have been a record for a freshwater dive, but after clarification they said no records had been broken and the maximum depth during Tuesday's dive was 1,592 meters (5,223 feet).

The expedition is set to run for two years, during which the scientists will conduct around 160 dives in various areas of the lake. Research will include tectonic information-gathering and a search for archeological artifacts.

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