Nerves were frayed at Lloyd's this week when the doomed Russian nuclear submarine, Kursk, was finally lifted from the sea bed.
Three Lloyd's managing agents insured the £100m risk, led by yet another sunken ship, Cotesworth, the ill-fated Lloyd's managing agent that went into liquidation last week. Australian insurer QBE and Wellington underwriting were also involved in covering the six vessels and 200 personnel against accident, explosion or act of war.
The risk was described by a Wellington underwriter as a "very unusual and interesting risk to underwrite". It was made more interesting by the game of Russian roulette the divers and recovery vessels had to play. The arsenal on the submerged vessel included 23 cruise missiles, armed with 700kg warheads. If one exploded, the casing of the reactors could have been breached and the recovery vessels lost. In addition, 17 of the Kursk's 24 torpedoes were still missing.
However, Cotesworth et al did not go out with a bang. The Dutch salvage company Mammoet said the submarine had been less deeply embedded in the sea bed than first thought and was brought to the surface with radiation leaks regarded as "normal".
More importantly, the Lloyd's piggy bank (the central fund) will not have to be broken to bail out Cotesworth. A good week all round.