Missing submarine urges search and rescue operation from Argentine navy

By Kalendra Withana

The Argentine Navy has launched an immediate search and rescue operation in order to trace the whereabouts of a missing submarine, which has 44 members of crew that are believed to be on board.  

 

The vessel is named as the ARA San Juan and is reported to have not made contact in 48 hours, with its last known location being 430km off the coast of the southern province of Chubu.

The submarine was on a descent from the city of Ushuaio to the naval base of Mar de Plata, when all communicative contact was suddenly lost.

According to the reports of national Argentinian newspaper La Nacion, it is speculated that the German-built submarine has undergone an electric malfunction. 

Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi addressed the situation and stated: 

"We are investigating the reasons for the lack of communication. If there was a communication problem, the boat would have to come to the surface." 

"It's not that it's lost," continued Balbi. "For it to be lost we'd have to look for it and not find it." 

It has been confirmed by Balbi that a tracker aeroplane and several navy ships are currently circulating the South Atlantic in search of the vessel. 

The navy spokesman also stated that the submarine is also equipped with the adequate food supplies. 

The ARA San Juan was built in Germany in 1985 and paved its way into Argentina a year later. Furthermore, La Nacian reported that the vessel had to endure repair work back in 2008 for the purpose of extending the submarine’s lifespan by 30 years. 

Sources – BBC News, Sky News, The Guardian

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