The men aboard the mini-sub waited out tense hours of uncertainty as rescuers raced to free them before their air supply ran out. They put on thermal suits to insulate them against temperatures of about 40 F inside the sub and were told to lie flat and breathe as lightly as possible to conserve oxygen.
To save electricity, they turned off the submarine's lights and used communications equipment only sporadically to contact the surface.
"The crew were steadfast, very professional," Pepelyayev said on Channel One television. "Their self-possession allowed them to conserve the air and wait for the rescue operation."
UPDATE: What did the men think about, lying in the dark, breathing lightly, in limbo between life and death? Such a deep meditation! Are they not enlightened?