Argentina: Search for missing sub accelerates despite blast

26 November, 2017, 02:04 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • The huge Antonov-124 Ruslan airlifter lands in Argentina with the Pantera Plus remote-control unmanned deep-sea descent vehicle and support team

Saturday marked the 10th day since the ARA San Juan submarine reported its last position off Argentina's southern coast.

The search for a missing Argentine submarine continues even though there is nearly no hope that the 44 crew members are alive.

'It's a hard moment for all, but obviously, especially for the families of the 44 crew members. Although the agency was more guarded on the cause.saying it detected a quote "unusual signal" underwater last week.

"Despite all the effort that has been carried out, we haven't been able to find the San Juan submarine", Balbi told reporters. "We will not speculate beyond the facts as we know them".

Time running out for missing submarine
The vessel could also "snorkel" - raise a tube to the surface - to "charge batteries and draw fresh air for the crew". More than 100 personnel were participating in the rescue operation, including U.S. and Argentinian navy operatives.

An worldwide search effort has so far failed to trace the ARA San Juan which disappeared in the South Atlantic Ocean on November 15.

Argentina's navy has been fiercely criticized for its handling of the operation since first reporting the submarine overdue at its Mar del Plata base on November 16. Many have been critical of the official response, claiming the Navy was too slow in accepting global offers of assistance and that the vessel had not been properly maintained. "They are gone, but are not 'dead'". Navy officials and outside experts worry that even if the ARA San Juan is intact but submerged, its crew may be running out of oxygen. A Russian plane arrived in Argentina on Friday carrying search equipment capable of reaching 6000m below the sea surface, Balbi said. The armed forces have had to face dwindling resources and lack of training since the end of a military dictatorship in the early 1980s.

"The loss of the San Juan is a effect of the fact that the abandonment and degradation of our defense forces has been an official policy", Argentine Senator Pino Solanas of the independent Project South party told local radio on Saturday.

'I'm here to guarantee you that we will carry on with the search, especially now that we have the support of all the global community'.

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