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Argentine Navy confirms sounds detected not from missing ARA San Juan submarine

22 November 2017

Brief hope is followed by disappointment, as sounds detected from about 200 meters under the sea, . during search operations for a missing Argentine submarine were found to not come from the missing vessel.

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

The navy lost contact with the ARA San Juan submarine on November 15, shortly after the vessel's captain reported a failure in the battery system while the sub was submerged off Argentina's South Atlantic coast, the military has said. 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. On Tuesday, three vessels will move to an expanded search area, Argentine navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said.

The ARA San Juan is a TR-1700 submarine manufactured in Germany, commissioned by the Argentine Navy in 1985. The Bluefin-12D is capable of conducting search operations at 3 knots [3.5 mph] at a maximum depth of nearly 5,000 feet for 30 hours, while the Iver 580s can operate at a depth of 325 feet, traveling at 2.5 knots [2.8 mph] for up to 14 hours. "This is why we are deploying all resources with high tech sensors".

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More rescue equipment is scheduled to arrive in Argentina early next week.

This type of problem is considered routine, and the crew was reported safe, he added. "We welcome the help we have received to find them". But experts later determined that neither was from the missing sub. The navy did not give details of the content of that final communication. Courtesy Ronald Gutridge/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY."Today is a critical day", said Maria Victoria Morales, the mother of Luis Garcia, an electrical technician aboard the vessel.

More than a dozen worldwide 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. They had raised hopes that the crew members were alive.

The navy on Saturday reported seven communication attempts that were initially believed to originate from the San Juan. Search workers also detected white flares, but later ruled them out as evidence the missing sub was near. But the raft is a different model than what would be carried on the San Juan, and a white flare is not typically used by the crew. However, it was confirmed that the said signals did not belong from the underwater vessel, ABC News reports.

Argentine Navy confirms sounds detected not from missing ARA San Juan submarine