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Learning English - Words in the News
08 August, 2005 - Published 14:15 GMT
Russian submarine rescue
The crew from the Russian submarine

Russia's Defence Minister has offered his thanks to the Royal Navy for saving the lives of seven Russian submariners. This report from Damian Grammaticas

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Among Russia's high command there is genuine gratitude for the British rescue effort. Without British help it's clear the seven Russian submariners would have perished at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

At an official reception the Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov presented Commander Ian Riches and two of his men with engraved Russian naval wristwatches. Mr Ivanov is now asking President Putin to give state honours to the British team. It was their Scorpio submersible, flown in from Prestwick that cut through the nets and cables entangling Russia's mini-submarine.

The seven Russians had been trapped inside for three days. Suffering from hypothermia and a lack of oxygen they'd appeared doomed. Commander Riches said when he saw the mini-submarine bob to the surface the feeling of elation was out of this world.

Russia's government has ordered an investigation into why the submarine became trapped, and why Russia's Navy couldn't rescue its own men.

Damian Grammaticas, BBC, Moscow

Listen to the words

high command
the small group of people who lead a country’s military forces

it's clear
it is certain

died (usually in a sudden or violent way)

state honours
official awards given to people for things that they have done

a vehicle designed to be used underwater


if you have hypothermia then your body temperature has become unusually low

here, certain to die

bob to the surface
gently rise to the top of the ocean

the feeling of elation was out of this world
the happiness he felt (at the success of the rescue mission) was better than anything else he had felt before

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