Buenos Aires Times

argentina POOR WEATHER HINDERS HUNT

New contact detected in search for vanished Argentine submarine ARA San Juan

The first contact was detected by the ARA Islas Malvinas on Sunday at 814 metres, before another two were registered by the ARA Sarandi at 500 and 700 metres respectively.

Tuesday 26 December, 2017
The Argentine Navy continues searching for the missing ARA San Juan as family members of the 44 officers on board turn to the long and painful process of mourning.
The Argentine Navy continues searching for the missing ARA San Juan as family members of the 44 officers on board turn to the long and painful process of mourning. Foto:Argentine Navy via AP

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A sonar search for the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan that disappeared on November 15 with 44 crew members on board has made new contact, the Argentine Navy reported Monday.

The first contact was detected by the ARA Islas Malvinas on Sunday at 814 metres, before another two were registered by the ARA Sarandi at 500 and 700 metres respectively.

All search efforts were put on standby as poor weather conditions set in over the Christmas weekend.

While search efforts have generally been scaled-backed, the remotely-operated Russian Panther Plus submarine, the US oceanographic research vessel Atlantis, and Argentina’s ARA Puerto Argentino continue exploring the search area.

Argentina has received help from 13 countries in its search for the San Juan submarine.

It has abandoned hope of finding survivors and is concentrating only on finding the vessel, which in its last message reported that seawater had entered the ventilation system, causing a battery on the diesel-electric vessel to short-circuit and start a fire.

An unusual noise heard in the ocean near the last known position of the San Juan, three hours after its final contact, was "consistent with an explosion," the navy said in late November.

Other reported contacts detected weeks ago amounted to nothing, with some arising from a fishing boat which sank years previously.

The tragedy led to the firing of Admiral Marcelo Srur, head of Argentina's Navy, earlier this month.

-TIMES/AP

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