Argentina Submarine: ARA San Juan Found

Erika Holt
November 18, 2018

The Argentine Navy submarine that went missing a year ago off the country's Atlantic Coast was found by a private company involved in what had been a massive search for the vessel and its 44-member crew, the Navy announced by tweet on Saturday.

Ocean Infinity, a US company that can search and map the seabed, was hired by Argentina following the failure of an worldwide operation to find the vessel after it went missing in the South Atlantic.

ARA San Juan disappeared 270 miles off the Argentine coast previous year after reporting an "electrical breakdown".

"[The submarine's hull is] totally deformed, collapsed and imploded... and remnants scattered within a radius of 70 meters [230 feet]", Gabriel Attis said on Saturday, as quoted by the Telam news agency.

A noise detected a few hours after the submarine disappeared is believed to have been the sound of the vessel imploding, the Argentine navy claimed.

Speaking at the first news conference since its discovery by the specialist American survey ship Ocean Infinity, naval captain Enrique Balbi said the working theory was that the vessel had imploded close to the seabed.

"We are with the other relatives".

The vessel set out on its latest attempt in September and eventually discovered the wreck in the Atlantic off the Valdes Peninsula in Argentine Patagonia at a depth of 2,500ft.

Several senior officers were dismissed, including Navy chief Marcelo Srur, and numerous families have expressed anger and disappointment at the government's efforts to find their missing relatives. "Now we are going to search for the truth".

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"We are all destroyed here".

She said families need to recover the remains of their loved ones to know what happened and help prevent similar tragedies. "We sincerely hope that locating the resting place of the ARA San will be of some comfort to them", the statement said.

The navy said previously the captain reported on November 15 that water entered the snorkel and caused one of the sub's batteries to short-circuit.

Federal court testimony shows that a number of naval officials are under investigation for allegedly allowing the submarine to take an extended mission when they were aware of mechanic problems.

Eight days after the sub vanished, the CTBTO - which operates a network of listening posts to monitor nuclear explosions - said that there had been a "hydro-acoustic anomaly" about 30 nautical miles (60km) north of the sub's last-known position.

At the time of the disappearance, the Navy said water that had entered the submarine's snorkel caused its battery to short-circuit.

The saltwater dripped on to a battery tray in the prow, causing the battery to short circuit and to smoulder, he said.

Argentina dismissed its navy chief one month after the disappearance.

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