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Rescue submarine stranded off Australian coast

Written by: Staff
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CANBERRA, Dec 5 (Reuters) A civilian rescue submarine is stranded on the ocean floor off Western Australia with two crew on board after running into difficulty, the military said in a statement today.

The Australian Submarine Rescue Vehicle (ASRV) Remora ran into trouble at midnight 1830 IST yesterday when a winch system failed as it was being recovered during trials, the Australian Defence Force said in a statement.

The 16-tonne boat, operated by the civilian diving contractor Cal Dive and which offers services to offshore oil and gas rigs, is on the sea bed at a depth of 130 metres.

''There is no immediate danger to the two specialist contractors who are currently inside,'' the navy said, adding a secondary cable was providing power and communications to the vessel from a mother ship.

The Remora can carry seven people and operate at depths of over 500 metres.

The Australian navy said weather conditions were preventing its recovery, but a frigate and specialist navy divers had been sent to the location to help with the rescue.

REUTERS SHB BD1101

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