LONDON – A Canadian navy submarine obtained secondhand from Britain just four days earlier was drifting in the Atlantic on Wednesday as British ships battled through rough weather to reach it and tow it ashore. One submarine crew member died after being airlifted to a hospital.
HMCS Chicoutimi (search), on its maiden voyage as a Canadian vessel, sent out a distress call Tuesday after a major electrical fire broke. Britain's Royal Air Force (search) sent a search-and-rescue helicopter to the sub, some 115 miles northwest of Ireland.
"He gave his life serving his country and we owe his family our deepest condolences," Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin (search) told Canada's House of Commons in Ottawa.
The dead sailor, Lt. Chris Saunders, was airlifted from the submarine earlier Wednesday.
Rescuers had intended to take him and two other injured men to a hospital in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, but had to divert on short notice to Sligo, in the Republic of Ireland, because Saunders' condition deteriorated and he needed immediate treatment.