Published: Wed, November 22, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

US Navy team joins hunt for missing Argentine submarine

US Navy team joins hunt for missing Argentine submarine

The missing submarine - ARA San Juan - has a crew of 44.

The Navy has deployed unmanned underwater vehicles to join in the search for the Argentine navy submarine A.R.A. San Juan, which is missing in South Atlantic waters.

As waves of up to 20 feet complicated the search, authorities spent Sunday analyzing data from possible satellite calls that were thought to have been made from the vessel.

More than a dozen global vessels and aircraft have joined the search for the missing submarine, which has been set back by stormy weather that has caused waves up to 20 feet. Authorities have mainly been scanning from the sky as storms have halted the maritime hunt. The sub and her 44 crewmembers were ordered to return to the naval base at Mar del Plata for repairs, and the vessel's last known position was about 240 nm off the coast of Patagonia, near the San Jorge Gulf.

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However, the Navy spokesperson said that it is going to conduct a thorough search in that area, taking advantage of the two research vessels of the Navy and a Brazilian polar ship, so as to make sure that noise was really not from the missing submarine.

Gabriel Galeazzi, a naval commander, told reporters that the submarine had come up from the depths and reported an electrical malfunction before it disappeared 268 miles (432 km) off the coast.

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

The ARA San Juan submarine got its inauguration in 1983 and during that time became the newest underwater vessel in the Navy's fleet.

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The sub was journeying from the extreme southern port of Ushuaia to the coastal city of Mar del Plata. They were joined on Monday by President Mauricio Macri.

His government also sent five psychologists and a psychiatrist to the base in support of the relatives. A sequence of satellite call attempts turned out to be from another vessel using the sub's frequency; a large life raft found in the search area was from a different vessel; a series of white signal flares sighted by search vessels could not have originated from the sub, which only carried red flares; and a sonar signature that was believed to be the sound of tools banging on the interior of the sub's hull turned out to be from a "biological source".

The Navy announced on November 17 that the missing submarine last reported its position at dawn on November 15. It was built in Germany and in 2008 was brought to Argentina for maintenance which included the replacement of the electric propeller engines together with the four diesel engines, Reuters reports.

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