Rescuers rush to aid disabled Russian sub
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -
A Russian mini-submarine carrying seven sailors snagged on a fishing net and was stuck 625 feet down on the Pacific floor Friday. A Russian vessel attempted to tow the stranded sub to shallower waters as the United States and Britain rushed unmanned vehicles there to help in rescue efforts.
It was unclear whether there was enough oxygen aboard the mini-sub to keep the crew alive long enough for remote-controlled vehicles to reach them from bases in San Diego and Britain.
A Russian rescue vessel attempted to snag the mini-submarine with a cable and drag it to shallower waters. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Viktor Fyodorov said one vessel had tension on a cable, and video cameras would be lowered into the water to see if the submarine had been snagged, the Interfax news agency reported.
Earlier, Fyodorov said on state television that the sub was being towed. Navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo then told The Associated Press that tension was noted on a cable, but it could not be confirmed that the vessel had been snagged.
Concerns about air supply
Interfax earlier quoted Fyodorov as saying the crew’s air supply would last until sometime Monday. However, he earlier told Russia’s Channel One television that air would last “a little more than 24 hours.”
The Russian sub’s propeller became entangled in a fishing net Thursday, Dygalo said on state-run Rossiya television. The accident occurred in Beryozovaya Bay, about 50 miles south of Kamchatka’s capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, officials said.