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Russia Asks Japan For Help In Sub Rescue

A Russian A-30 Priz sub similar to the A-28 that is stuck on the floor of the Pacific 5 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The Russian Navy now says it has requested Japanese assistance as it tries to free a mini-submarine stuck at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, off the Kamchatka Peninsula.

However, Japan said three specialized rescue boats would not arrive on the scene before 8 August.

The 13-meter-long military submarine, with seven crewmembers on board, was taking part in rescue exercises off Kamchatka when it got stuck on the sea floor yesterday. The navy said today it appears the craft's propeller is entangled in a fishing net at a depth of 190 meters.

Earlier, a Navy spokesman said the sailors on board the submersible craft had four days' oxygen left. But Admiral Viktor Federov, commander of the Russian Pacific Fleet, said today the oxygen supply might only last through the weekend.

The vessel normally carries a crew of three, instead of the seven reported to be on board.


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