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Canadian Navy Commodore Tyrone Pile said the British frigate HMS Montrose had reached the submarine on Wednesday morning
A British helicopter lifted three injured crewmen from a crippled Canadian submarine on Wednesday as it drifted in heavy seas off the Irish coast after its engines were knocked out by a serious fire, officials said. "The helicopter took off three members of the crew who had suffered from the effects of smoke inhalation and flew them to Ireland," said a Canadian Navy spokeswoman. HMCS Chicoutimi, one of four used submarines that Canada bought from Britain, was on its maiden voyage on Tuesday from Scotland to Canada when the fire forced it to the surface. Nine crew members were treated for smoke inhalation. The incident, the latest in a long line of mishaps to befall the submarines, prompted opposition legislators to accuse Canada's Liberal government of wasting the C$750 million ($595 million) it agreed to pay for the vessels in 1998. Canadian Navy Commodore Tyrone Pile said the British frigate HMS Montrose had reached the submarine on Wednesday morning. A total of five other Royal Navy and towing vessels were expected on the scene within the next two days. The diesel engines could not be restarted so the boat, 100 miles off the west coast of Ireland, would be towed back to the Scottish port of Faslane, near Glasgow, he said. "The damage caused by the fire was more extensive than first thought.... This was a major fire," Pile told reporters, adding the blaze had caused significant damage to the commanding officer's cabin and the electrical equipment room. A second minor fire started shortly afterward when an oxygen generator malfunctioned. Canadian Navy photographs showed the submarine being battered by high waves but Pile said the crew were in good condition, although very tired. The incident is the most serious of the problems to hit the submarines, and opposition legislators such as Bill Blaikie of the left-leaning New Democrats questioned why Ottawa ever agreed to the deal with Britain, informs Reuters. According to the Scotsman, a member of the crew of a Canadian submarine stranded in the Atlantic was tonight fighting for his life, after being airlifted to hospital in an emergency operation. Doctors were treating the sailor at Sligo General Hospital in the Republic of Ireland, after a Royal Navy helicopter took him and two of his injured colleges ashore. They were airlifted off of the stricken ship and were forced to land at the nearest hospital after the critical man-s condition rapidly deteriorated. They were among nine casualties who suffered smoke inhalation after a blaze broke out on the HMCS Chicoutimi when it was 100 miles off the west coast of of Ireland. British forces mounted a comprehensive operation to go to the Chicoutimi-s rescue, after the captain of the vessel called for help at 3pm yesterday, but have been battling against ?treacherous¦ weather conditions. Prime Minister Paul Martin has confirmed that one crew member from the stricken submarine HMCS Chicoutimi has died. He identified the crewman as Lieut. Chris Saunders. "The circumstances of his death have yet to be determined," Martin told a hushed Commons. "But I know that all of us in this House will want to pass on our condolences and those of our country. He gave his life saving his country, and we pay him our profound respects and his family our deepest condolences." While a briefing on the submariners' fate is expected later Wednesday evening, Mike Bonin, a spokesman for the Canadian Navy, told globeandmail.com that the remaining airlifted crew members are now at a hospital in the Republic of Ireland receiving treatment
Print Canadian Navy Commodore Tyrone Pile said the British frigate HMS Montrose had reached the submarine on Wednesday morning Bookmark Canadian Navy Commodore Tyrone Pile said the British frigate HMS Montrose had reached the submarine on Wednesday morning

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