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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Russian honour for sub rescuers
From left: Jonathan Holloway, Stuart Gold, Peter Nuttall, Keith Hewitt, Ian Riches
From left: Jonathan Holloway, Stuart Gold, Peter Nuttall, Keith Hewitt, Ian Riches
A British team who rescued the trapped crew of a Russian mini-submarine have received awards from Vladimir Putin.

The Russian president attended a special ceremony at 10 Downing Street.

The rescuers used a remote-controlled robot, Scorpio 45, to free the submarine from nets it was snagged in during the operation in August.

Among those honoured were two operators of the remote vehicle, based in Renfrew, near Glasgow, as well as Royal Navy and RAF personnel.

Operators Stuart Gold and Peter Nuttall were presented with a Russian Order for Maritime Services, along with Commander Ian Riches of the Royal Navy.

The work was done quickly, at a good professional level and most importantly it succeeded
Vladimir Putin

Naval captain Jonathan Holloway and Squadron Leader Keith Hewitt of the Royal Air Force also received the Order of Friendship.

Seven Russian sailors were trapped in submersible AS28 for three days after it became caught in discarded fishing nets which were entangled in a seabed surveillance system.

Scorpio 45 spent five hours using its cameras and robot arm to free the submarine, trapped 190m (620ft) down off the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The ceremony was held in the Pillared Room, at which Mr Putin said he was "honoured" to present the medals.

He told the men: "I would like to thank you for the work done, for the mission accomplished and rescue of the Russian seamen.

"The work was done quickly, at a good professional level and most importantly it succeeded.

"In this regard I can't help mentioning that this year we jointly marked the 60th anniversary of VE Day - victory over Nazis.

"We in Russia remember vividly the remarkable examples of outstanding heroism demonstrated by the British seamen in the operation of the so-called Northern Convoy.

"I am very pleased to note that even today you have made your contribution in substantially increasing, up-levelling, deepening and broadening our co-operation."




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch underwater footage of the trapped submarine



SEE ALSO:
Russian president thanks rescuers
09 Aug 05 |  Scotland
In pictures: Russian sub rescue
07 Aug 05 |  In Pictures
Russia's rusting navy
23 Mar 04 |  Europe


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