August 6, 2005

Prayers Answered For Russian Submariners

Seven trapped Russian submariners have been rescued -- alive -- after three days of being trapped 625 feet below the surface:

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 rescue mission involved the navies of three countries: Russia, Britain, and some support from the US. A British Scorpio cleared the debris that had entangled its screws, causing the mini-sub to sink to the bottom near the Kamchatka peninsula. Once the Scorpio cleared the debris, described in varying news reports as either fishing nets or an observational attenna, Russian surface vessels attached cables to the sub and hauled it to the surface. The sailors came to the top with little breathable air left, but apparently enough to survive.

Coming as it did around the five-year anniversary of the Kursk disaster which killed 118 Russian sailors in the Barents Sea, Russians and many others around the world feared the worst. Thank God that this time, the Russians asked for help immediately and the British were in a position to provide it.


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