Trapped sub surfaces, crew safe
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- A Russian submarine that had been trapped nearly 190 meters (625 feet) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean was raised Sunday, and all seven crew members are alive, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet has confirmed.
The sub was raised about 4:20 p.m. (3:20 a.m. GMT).
A U.S. Navy doctor on board a Russian ship was evaluating the conditions of the Russian crew, John Yoshishige said.
The sub apparently had been entangled since Thursday in a fishing net, he said.
The sub had been stuck in Berezovaya Bay, 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on Russia's far eastern coast.
The process began Sunday of trying to lift the sub as fears grew over dwindling air supplies for the crew.
About noon Sunday (7 p.m. ET Saturday), a British crew lowered an unmanned rescue vehicle called a Scorpio 45 into the water in an attempt to free the sub from cables or fishing nets that had pinned it underwater.
The Scorpio was equipped with three cameras and cable-cutting equipment.
A Russian ship then attached cables to the submarine in preparation for pulling it up, according to the press service for the Russian Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok.
The minisub got snagged in deep waters off Russia's east coast Thursday.
Initial reports said the propeller of the sub, the AS-28, became caught on some fishing nets or cable. However, Interfax reported the sub snagged an anchor cable of a coastal observation aerial.
The sub incident comes almost five years after the giant Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sank in the icy waters of the Barents Sea. All 118 crew members aboard died.
Russian authorities were slow to ask for international assistance during the Kursk mishap; this time they promptly asked for help.
Officials said the Russian navy immediately tried to get in contact with the U.S. Pacific Fleet through the U.S. naval attaché office in Moscow.
CNN's Matthew Chance, Nastya Anashkina, Karina Chobanyan and Kathleen Koch contributed to this report.
|© 2007 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.