Monday, 10 December, 2018

Noise detected in Atlantic not from missing Argentine submarine

The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan and crew are seen leaving the port of Buenos Aires Argentina Sounds detected during search for missing Argentine submarine did not come from vessel
Andrew Cummings | 22 November, 2017, 01:10

ARA San Juan with 44 crew lost communication since Wednesday after reporting an occurrence of an electrical malfunction.

But Balbi said a recording of the noise had been analyzed and that it was a "continuous, constant" noise that could be biological, not the sound of Morse code being rapped out on the submarine's hull, as had been suggested in one news report.

A U.S. Navy rescue crew from San Diego has joined the global search effort for a Argentine submarine and its 44 crew members missing for several days beneath the stormy southern Atlantic Ocean.

Rescue teams from Argentina, the United States, Britain, Chile and Brazil have joined the search effort. Authorities have mainly been scanning from the sky as storms have halted the maritime hunt. The submarine was carrying 44 crew members, and was travelling to the coastal city of Mar del Plata.

Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi says Monday that a US aircraft was sent to check an area where the noise was heard by two Argentine Navy ships.

Gabriel Galeazzi, a naval commander, told reporters that the submarine had come up from the depths and reported the unspecified electrical malfunction before it disappeared almost 300 miles off the coast.

Searchers have suffered disappointments in recent days as analysis of satellite signals and sounds detected by underwater probes - initially thought to be messages from the crew - has found they did not come from the vessel.

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The malfunction did not necessarily cause an emergency, Galeazzi added.

"A warship has a lot of backup systems, to allow it to move from one to another when there is a breakdown", he said.

The ARA San Juan was inaugurated in 1983, the newest of three submarines in the navy's fleet, and underwent maintenance in 2008 in Argentina.

The captain was told to "change course and return to Mar del Plata", Galeazzi said.

Speaking at a forum on open government in Buenos Aires, Argentina's President Mauricio Macri said that "in these hard hours, I did not want to start without sending once again all my support to the families of the crew of the ARA San Juan submarine". Morales and other relatives of crew members have been gathered at a naval base in Mar del Plata, where authorities are coordinating the search and rescue operation.

He says the sounds did not come from tools being banged against the hull of a submarine as was previously reported by some media. "It's dependent upon the last time they actually recharged their batteries, how long ago they refreshed the air, what's inside the submarine", Reed said.

The Navy announced on November 17 that the missing submarine last reported its position at dawn on November 15.

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