Sunday, 24 June, 2018

ARA San Juan: Missing Argentinian submarine had reported electrical malfunction, Navy says

Relatives of the crew members of the submarine that's missing arrive to the Navel base in Mar del Plata Argentina Sunday Nov. 19 2017. The Navy said Saturday the area being searched off the country's southern Atlantic coast has been doubled as concern Distress calls bring hope to search for missing Argentina sub
Andrew Cummings | 21 November, 2017, 01:07

Three boats left Mar del Plata on Saturday with radar detection probes and were following the path that the submarine would have taken to arrive at the base in reverse, Balbi said.

Two Navy P-8A aircraft are already in Argentina, where they joined a NASA P-3 research aircraft now supporting the ongoing search efforts over the submarine's last known location.

Argentina's navy said it was not sure what had happened to the submarine or why it had lost contact but that it was now convinced the ship was beneath the surface and not adrift on choppy seas, as was previously thought.

A distress signal detected Monday by Argentina's navy may have come from a missing military submarine.

Crew members' relatives gathered at the Mar del Plata naval base, where the submarine had once been expected to arrive around noon on Sunday from Ushuaia.

The San Juan, a German-built sub, had a crew of 44-including Argentina's first woman submarine officer.

USA satellite communications firm Iridium Communications, brought in to help with the analysis, said the signals did not originate from the submarine.

"Luckily we have been able to continue with the air search", Balbi told reporters on Sunday.

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Following a request for assistance from the Argentine government, the Royal Navy ship immediately changed course from her planned tasking and sailed to join the multi-national efforts to find the missing submarine ARA San Juan.

Along with this, looking for submarine search planes, a ship and several types of equipment from the American side, Brazil and the United Kingdom, and most of Argentina.

RESCUERS searching for a missing submarine have picked up noises which could have been made by crew knocking on the hull - sparking hope the 44 on board are still alive.

The crew were thought to have several days of food supply, but - unlike nuclear-powered United Kingdom and USA submarines - the 66m (216ft) long ARA San Juan is diesel electric, meaning that it has a finite supply of fuel, food and oxygen.

Fears are growing for the sub, as if it hasn't surfaced it will be running out of air.

"He's in the San Juan submarine". However, it would not be unusual for storms to cause delays, Balbi said.

At the Vatican, Argentine Pope Francis said that he is sending "fervent prayers" for the crew.

Sixty-five meters long and seven meters wide, it was built by Germany's Thyssen Nordseewerke and launched in 1983.

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