Aquatic Robotics

US Navy ROV to Help Trapped Russian Sub

Posted 5 Aug 2005 at 14:42 UTC by steve Share This

A Russian AS-28 mini-sub with a 7 man crew is trapped on the sea floor 200 meters below the surface after becoming entangled in an abandoned fishing net. The vessel carries only enough air for 24 hours. Japanese rescue ships are on the way but aren't expected to arrive in time. Russia has asked for help from the US Navy's Deep Submergence Unit which will attempt to air lift in the Super Scorpio ROV on an Air Force C-5 in time to free the sub from the net and save the crew. The Super Scorpio robot can reach depths of 5,000 feet and includes a cable cutter that cuts up to 1 inch steel cable. The ROV also includes two manipulator arms capable of lifting 250lbs. The NavSource Submarine Photo Gallery includes several photos of the Super Scorpio ROV. For updates on the story, see Google news.


Update, posted 6 Aug 2005 at 14:15 UTC by steve » (Master)

As of 9am central time the sub is still stuck. The Russians have managegd to attach lines to the sub and drag it about 60 towards shore but it's still too deep. A Russian ROV has obtained video and it turns out the sub is not caught in a fishing net but on antenna cabling that's part of Russia's coastal monitoring system. A second Super Scorpio ROV was sent from the UK and arrived a couple of hours ahead of the US Super Scorpio. Both ROVs have arrived and were being offloaded to ships at the last report. There are several conflicting reports from the Russians on how much air is left in the mini-sub.

The crew is safe, posted 7 Aug 2005 at 16:41 UTC by steve » (Master)

The British Super Scorpio ROV arrived on the seen a couple of hours before the US Navy's Super Scorpio. The ROV successfully cut the sub free of the cables it was tangled in. The sub was brought to surface and the crew are all okay. There are still conflicting reports about what exactly the sub was tangled in. First it was a fishnet, then a Russian antenna cable system, then it was fishing line but no fishnet, and I've seen several more recent reports saying it really did turn out to be a drifting fishing net.

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