Skip to comments.Russian Mini-Submarine Stuck on Sea Floor
Posted on 08/05/2005 4:12:44 AM PDT by visagoth
Russian Mini-Submarine Stuck on Sea Floor
Aug 5, 6:57 AM (ET)
By YEVGENY KULKOV
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) - A Russian mini-submarine with seven sailors aboard snagged on a fishing net and was stuck on the sea floor off Russia's Pacific Coast, and a Navy spokesman said the seamen had enough air to survive one more day.
Navy authorities scrambled to figure out how to raise the vessel from a depth of some 625 feet. The Interfax news service said Russia's Pacific Fleet commander was in talks with U.S. Navy officials over how the United States might help.
"There is air remaining on the underwater apparatus for a day - one day," Capt. Igor Dygalo said on state-run Rossiya television.
"The operation continues. We have a day, and intensive, active measures will be taken to rescue the AS-28 vessel and the people aboard," he said.
Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Alexander Kosolapov said contact had been made with the sailors, who were not hurt, and that authorities were preparing to send down a similar vessel to assess the situation.
The sub's propeller became entangled in a fishing net Thursday, trapping the craft, Dygalo said.
The mini-sub, called an AS-28, was too deep to allow the sailors to swim to the surface on their own or for divers to reach it, officials said.
Dygalo's statement about the amount of air remaining, which he said came after "all the information was checked," followed conflicting statements from officials who said there was enough air for anything from one to five days. The range of estimates may have come because there were seven people aboard the vessel; the crafts usually carry three.
The accident occurred early Thursday after the mini-submarine was launched from a rescue ship during a combat training exercise, Kosolapov said.
Kosolapov said nine warships were in the area to aid the rescue operation.
Officials said the accident occurred in Beryozovaya Bay, approximately 100 miles south of Kamchatka's capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
The accident occurred almost exactly five years after the nuclear submarine Kursk sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea after explosions on board, killing all 118 seamen aboard in a painful blow to the Russian navy. Some of the Kursk's sailors survived for hours after the accident as oxygen ran out, and Russian authorities came under sharp criticism for their handling of the crisis.
The same type of vessel that is now stuck, called a Priz, was used in the rescue efforts that followed the Kursk disaster, Interfax reported.
The AS-28, which looks like a small submarine, was built in 1989. They are about 44 feet long and 19 feet high and can dive to depths of 1,640 feet.
Russian news agencies reported that Japan decided to send four ships in a response to a request for help. A Japanese Marine Self Defense Force spokesman, Mitsyasu Yokoe, said the press service had no information on such a dispatch and could not comment.
Snagged on a fishing net?
Wow...such small things can cause big problems..ie the Space Shuttle.
Snagged on a net at 625 feet? One day of air?
Those men are dead.
Sending down another similar craft, if there is one in the area, that doesn't have a mating hatch flange will do nothing except expose it to the same fate.
Can't help but wonder what wonder what this vehicle is doing operating out in the middle of nowhere with (seemingly) no support vessels...
Prayers for the submariners and all who will attempt the rescue.
Can hard-hat/suit divers get down that far? I would guess the Ortalon and Pidgeon are way too far out of range to offer any help at all.
You don't know that. I remember watching a special on a similar occurrence involving Ed Link's (inventor of the Link flight simulator) submerged vessel being trapped below c. 1973. It was snagged on a cable while exploring a shipwreck (IIRC). Another craft either cut it or nudged it free. Two of the four men survived; tragically, one of the dead was Link's son.
I think we've had quite a few technological advances in 30+ years, so keep the faith. Let me see if I can dig up that story.
Prayers going out for these Russian sailors and their families.
A submarine rescue exercise was completed about 1 month ago.
Lots of info, links .
Fwiw, here's a pic of a Atmospheric Diving Suit.
San Diego, Calif. (May 3, 2005) - Machinist Mate 1st Class Kris Wotzka and Damage Control Man 3rd Class Kenneth McCollum attached to the Deep Submergence Unit at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, assist launching Lt. Cmdr. Keith Lehnhardt in an Atmospheric Dive Suit (ADS) into a training pool for evaluation. The primary use of the ADS is for Submarine rescue missions. U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate 2nd Class Prince Hughes III
They've already asked for help, as the article above addresses.
At Link Port, Ed Link continued designing a new submersible improving on the Deep Diver design. Johnson-Sea-Link was made of an aluminum alloy and acrylics for a lighter submersible. The acrylics were used to create a huge transparent acrylic sphere to be the pilot/observer's compartment. The aluminum alloy was used for the frame to hold the diver's compartment, battery pods, and other component parts. In 1989, the Living Seas exhibit at Disney World called it "futuristic" today. And the submersible had been in use almost 20 years!
An unfortunate accident with Johnson-Sea-Link in the early 1970s resulted in the development of a cabled observation and rescue devise (CORD). The Johnson-Sea-Link became entangled in the wreckage of an old destroyer off Florida's coast. Two divers, Albert Stover and the Link's son Clayton, died in the accident. Ed Link devoted the next two years assisting in the design of CORD that works in conjunction with a surface ship. The unmanned CORD uses television cameras, lights, and hydraulic-powered claws and cutters, that allow it to free a trapped submersible. It was one of the first remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) used.
In my view the U.S. would do the exact same.
But its nice that we can have different views...N'est Pas?
I know hindsight is 20/20 but is there way to pipe air to them? Do subs have any outside accessable nozzles that could be used to supply them with air?
I hope they get these people out.
Great idea earlier about pulling the whole damn thing up. I mean you would think they could bring in a ship that could lower cables or lines and send down a sub or divers to attach the lines and hoist it and whatever trash is holding it up.
Tried, tried, and tried.
Mostly at shallow depths.
A nice theory, but current tends to turn the cables into a big ball of knots.
Those guys are DEEP.
Karl Marx, what a moron....and those who believed in him, morons maximus.
Well, they can hope.
Now, IF they have the proper equipment (assuming it exists) and IF they can get it to the area right now, and IF they can deploy it right then and there, and IF it can actually do something to free the darn thing, then they have more chance than zero.
That is a fantastic story about cutting away cables.
Perhaps it could work with a net.
I haven't followed DSRV technology in quite a while, so perhaps there is hope, but 1 day of air changes everything.
As far as cables and such, frankly I don't see how it could be done, although there is a rumor that the CIA did that to recover PART of a Russian sub long ago.
Took a long time and tore the sub in half.
Well, here, it sounds as if "all" they need to do is cut the net, then the sub - even if its propulsion system is damaged - could rise to the surface. But I am by no means an expert, so I'm curious to hear what some ol' Bubbleheads (submariners) have to say on this accident.