Heroic crew gave their lives to save others during sub disaster – Russian defense minister

Heroic Russian naval officers sacrificed their lives, saving their colleagues and a civilian, as they battled flames on board a deepwater research submersible in the Barents Sea, the nation’s defense minister has said.

The fire on the Navy’s deepwater research submersible had claimed the lives on 14 officers on board on Monday. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu shared some details of the crew’s conduct.

“The crew acted heroically in a critical situation. They evacuated a civilian from the compartment, which was engulfed in flames, and sealed the door behind him in order to avoid the spreading of the fire onto the rest of the vessel,” he said.

Sacrificing their lives, [the crew] completed a difficult task: they extinguished the fire, saved their comrades, and the deepwater vessel itself.

All victims will receive state honors posthumously, Shoigu said.

The minister said that all crew on board were “unique naval specialists, high-class professionals, who conducted important research of the Earth’s hydrosphere.”

The incident happened somewhere within Russia’s territorial waters in the Barents Sea. The officials said that the research vessel was mapping the seabed, but did not reveal the vessel’s name and gave little details of what had happened on board. The source of the fire remains unclear.