An Argentinean submarine has lost contact in the South Atlantic with 44 crew on board
22 November, 2017, 01:10
A US aircraft searching for a missing Argentine submarine with 44 crew members aboard has spotted white flares, but they're unlikely to be from the sub that has been lost for six days in the South Atlantic, the Argentine navy said Tuesday.
The ARA San Juan, boarding 44 crew members, was returning from a routine mission.
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.
Argentina's navy says a noise detected in an undersea area on Monday did not come from a submarine that has been missing since last week with 44 sailors on board.
The submarine was traveling from a base in far southern Tierra del Fuego archipelago to its home base in Mar del Plata, a city hundreds of miles to the northeast, when the navy lost contact with it last week.
Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said the low-frequency satellite signals received Saturday lasted a "few seconds", but had not connected with a base, partly due to inclement weather.
The ARA San Juan is a TR-1700 submarine manufactured in Germany, commissioned by the Argentine Navy in 1985.
Despite foul weather and a number of dead-end leads, authorities are continuing their search for a missing Argentinian naval submarine. "This is why we are deploying all resources with high tech sensors".
The families of crew members have gathered at the Mar del Plata naval base awaiting news. The navy did not give details of its content. After that, he said, it would have to surface or get near the surface to replenish air supply.
Peter Layton, a visiting fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute at Australia's Griffith University, offered a scenario similar to Balbi's: If the vessel had sunk but was still intact, Layton said, the crew would have about a week to 10 days of oxygen.
More than a dozen boats and aircraft from Argentina, the United States, Britain, Chile and Brazil have joined the search effort.
US satellite communications company Iridium Communications Inc, which was brought in to help analyze the calls, said they did not originate with its device aboard the vessel and may have been from another satellite communications company's equipment. But later analysis determined the noises were not from the missing vessel, but instead might have been from the ocean or marine life, Balbi said. Search workers also detected white flares, but later ruled them out as evidence the missing sub was near. However, it was confirmed that the said signals did not belong from the underwater vessel, ABC News reports.
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Argentina says calls did not come from missing submarine
An Argentine national flag hangs at the entrance of the Argentine Naval Base Mar del Plata, where the missing submarine is based. Such mechanical problems are not uncommon and numerous backup systems are in place should such an incident occur, Galeazzi said.
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