“British divers have been exalted for their part in recovering the wreck of the Russian submarine the Kursk.

The sunken vessel, which exploded and sank in August last year was raised Monday by a Dutch-led salvage consortium.

A team of around 30 divers, many of them from the UK, was pivotal in the operation. The divers, working nearly 360ft under the Barents Sea, manually inspected the submarine and checked gauges monitoring radiation and the vessel’s angle in relation to the barge.

Aberdeen-based company DSND Subsea supplied a diving team and vessel as part of the consortium. A spokesman for the operation, which so far has cost the Russian government around ??42m, said the divers had been vital to the success of the operation.

“”To have carried through such an operation under so many uncertainties that exist on a destroyed nuclear submarine is tribute to the work of the diving team,” said the spokesman.

“”Without the diving team and without their experience and quality, the operation would have been impossible to do,” she said.