After three harrowing days trapped under the 600 feet of water in Beryozovaya Bay, near Japan, a Russian submarine crew was rescued. The crew was examined by medical staff and said to be in good condition.
The submarine had become ensnared in an underwater coastal monitoring system. It was further hampered by a fishing net that was tangled around the propeller.
The Russian Navy does not have the money to purchase the necessary rescue vehicles. The submarine was far too deep for divers to reach it. So, a call went out to the international community to see what aid might be provided.
The US and Great Britain sent rescue teams to the Kamatcha Peninsula to see what they could do. Several attempts to free the submarine failed. The cables of the monitoring system proved difficult to dislodge. The anchor alone weighed 66 tons. At one point, the idea was floated around to blow up the monitoring system, but that idea was scrapped. Mechanical failures hampered the remote controlled rescue vehicles. Information about oxygen levels conflicted and it was uncertain how much time the rescue teams had to work.
In the end, the British team’s Super Scorpio cut threw the cables. The submarine was freed. The crew escaped a close call with death.
[Photo shows the U.S. Navy’s Super Scorpio. Photographer: Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel N. Woods, USN. Photograph courtesy of www.defenselink.mil]