Friday, August 05, 2005

Those in Peril on the Sea

The Russians learned a hard lesson from the sinking of the Kursk, and this time when a Russian sub is in trouble, they've asked for help. Units of the US Navy, the Royal Navy, and the Japanese Navy are rushing to aid:

The stricken submersible, normally used for underwater rescue operations, was taking part in a military exercise when its propeller became entangled in the net on Thursday.

Officials said there was "technical communication" with the sailors, but no voice contact. None is believed to be hurt.

The vessel is too deep to allow the sailors to swim to the surface on their own, and another submersible is needed to release them.

The US Navy rescue crew should be departing shortly:

A high-level overnight meeting of Naval officials in Hawaii decided to send a contingent of 30 U.S. sailors and two unmanned rescue vehicles called Super Scorpios to the Pacific waters, U.S. Navy sources told CNN.

The sailors and the rescue vehicles will be loaded onto an Air Force C-5 and will be departing from the San Diego North Island Naval Station. Departure will be as soon as 10:45 a.m. PT (1745 GMT) on Friday.

The crew and the vehicles will then be taken to a Russian surface ship, from which the crew will drop the Super Scorpios over the side.

They will try to untangle the mini-sub from the fishing nets, the Navy sources said.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

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