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    Black Sea Fleet to hold submarine rescue exercise

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    MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Black Sea Fleet will hold an exercise led by Navy Commander Vladimir Masorin to drill for rescue operations with sunken submarines, a navy spokesman said Tuesday.

    Igor Dygalo said submariners would practice free-ascent escapes through a torpedo room, connecting a rescue bell to a submarine, and medical assistance after free-ascent escapes.

    The Russian navy has been hit by several accidents involving submarines. The worst of these occurred on August 12, 2000 when the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sunk, killing all 118 crew members, after a torpedo exploded on board.

    On August 4 last year, the Priz AS-28 mini-sub with seven sailors onboard became trapped in a fishing net at a depth of about 190 meters (about 620 feet) in the Berezovaya Bay in the Bering Sea. It was rescued after three days with the help of an unmanned British deep-sea rescue vehicle, the Scorpio 45.

    Dygalo said that commanding staff of Russia's Northern, Baltic, and Pacific Fleets were also expected to attend the exercise.

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