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(From Lloyds List)
Byline: Deep-diving submarine plugs oil leaks from sunken tanker, writes Andrew Spurrier in Paris
THERE are not many vessels in the world which have the capacity to descend 3,800 m to the bed of the Atlantic to plug tiny oil leaks from the separated fore and aft sections of a sunken tanker.
The Nautile, which was given the mission by the Spanish authorities to do just that for the Prestige, is one of just five manned submarines capable of the task, claims its owner, the French ocean research institute Ifremer.
The other members of this tiny elite of deep-diving manned submarines are Japan's ShinkaO 6500, two Russian vessels known as Mirs like the space station and the US Alvin, which cannot go as deep as the others, its maximum depth being limited to 4,000 m.
The offshore industry uses remotely operated vehicles like the …