A rescue operation is underway to save two men trapped in a submarine on the seabed off the coast of Cork.

The two English crewmen Roger Ralph Chapman and Roger Mallinson on board the 19-foot submarine Pisces III got trapped when the submarine sank to the seabed while they were laying cables about a hundred miles off the Cork coast. 

A rescue operation began within hours as the vessel Vickers Voyager made its way to their location with two rescue midget submarines from Canada and Scotland. Although the submarines are called midgets, they weigh eleven tonnes each.  

One of the rescue workers describes what they know about what happened so far and the plans for the rescue operation. 

It was the following day by the time the rescue ship, the Vickers Voyager, was ready to load the midget submarines. 

Giant cranes lifted the subs onto the ship's own launching ramps.

Hundreds of yards of nylon rope were loaded on board to pull the damaged submarine up from the bottom of the ocean. Nothing is being left to chance and a robot once used in an underwater search for a hydrogen bomb off the coast of Spain has been called in as backup. 

The rescue ship left Tivoli Docks in Cork at 10.30am and is due at the rescue site shortly after midnight. It is anticipated that the rescue will take a few hours depending on the weather. 

The two trapped men have been in radio contact and report that they are fine, but by midnight they will have only thirty-four hours of air left.  

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 30 August 1973. The reporter is Paddy Smith.