Russian Mini-sub Crew Rescued
American Forces Press Service
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii, Aug. 7, 2005 A Russian mini-sub and its seven crewmembers that had been trapped on the ocean floor were successfully brought to the surface by an international rescue team sent to free them, officials at U.S. Pacific Fleet announced today.
Sailors assigned to the U.S. Navy's Unmanned Vehicle Detachment, located at Naval Air Station North Island, in San Diego, make preparations to load "Super Scorpio," a robotic rescue vehicle aboard an Air Force C-5 Galaxy aircraft Aug. 5. The Navy transported two of the remotely operated vehicles to assist the rescue of seven Russian sailors trapped on the ocean floor in a mini-submarine off the Kamchatka Peninsula. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Steven Cooke, USN
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The crewmembers are alive, and a U.S. medical officer aboard a Russian ship is evaluating their condition, according to a news release.
"In a period of only a few hours from the time of the incident, Russian, British, and U.S. resources were readied, deployed and brought to bear in a cooperative effort to free the seven sailors trapped more than 600 feet below the surface for two days," the release stated.
Officials credited "close, frequent communications" between navy officials in Russia, Britain, Japan, and the United States from the start of the operation with facilitating "the prompt and cooperative rescue efforts."
"The close team work and global coordination between our navies to rescue these sailors in such a short time is testimony to the spirit and determination of our nations," U.S. Navy Adm. Gary Roughead, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said.
In addition to the U.S. Navy doctor, three U.S. Navy divers supported the British remotely operated vehicle team aboard the Russian ship in the rescue effort. The British ROV successfully cut the mini-sub free from fishing nets, and the mini-sub was able to surface due to its own positive buoyancy.