A crippled Canadian submarine was late Thursday being towed toward Scotland after two days spent adrift near Ireland without power following a fatal fire, an Irish captain participating in the rescue said. \n"The tow was successfully passed this evening by one of the tugs involved in the salvage operation of the submarine. It was very successfully passed in what are difficult conditions," said Lieutenant Commander Peter Twomey, captain of the Irish naval vessel LE Aoife. \nThe HMCS Chicoutimi had drifted far from where it originally sent its distress signal, and was about 25 km west of Achill Island, County Mayo, in the west of Ireland, he told RTE state television in a ship-to-shore interview. \nBut the rescue, which involved frigates, tugs and supply vessels as well as search-and-rescue helicopters, was challenged by northwesterly winds ripping at 46 to 56km per hour and 4 to 5m waves, he said. \n"The Canadians and the Royal Navy sailors who were rigging the tow on the forward part of the submarine had to work in very, very difficult conditions, and it was an excellent example of seamanship," he said. \n"I have a bunch of rock stars on board, and I would sail anywhere with these guys," the Chicoutimi's commander Luc Pelletier said, according to a Canadian navy spokesman. \n"It could be a long two- or three-day voyage at this stage," he said. \nThe Chicoutimi, a British-built conventionally-powered submarine, has been adrift since Tuesday after a fire broke out on board. \nCanadian Prime Minister Paul Martin announced that Lieutenant Chris Saunders, one of nine hurt in the fire, died after he was flown to a hospital in Ireland on Wednesday. \nFifty-four crew members remained on the diesel-electric submarine, which officially joined the Canadian navy last weekend in Scotland after undergoing a refit. \nThe fire broke out only one day after the Chicoutimi sailed from Britain's sub base at Faslane, Scotland, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. \nCanadian navy officers said the fire -- which started in an electrical panel in one of the Chicou-timi's passageways and sent dense smoke spreading throughout the vessel -- was worse than initially thought. \nCanadian Defense Minister Bill Graham has not excluded the possibility of demanding compensation from London for the incident.
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