An Argentine submarine that went missing in the southern Atlantic ‘may have been found’ as rescuers race to get oxygen to the 44 people on board.
The Argentinian ARA San Juan submarine vanished last Wednesday after it reported an electric breakdown, writes the BBC.
On Monday, navy officials said noises picked up by two search vessels were not from the missing submarine, which was the second false alarm on the search.
Now it’s being reported the US navy have located a ‘heat stain’ from one of their aeroplanes, an Argentine news outlet reported.
Clarin said two separate clues to ARA San Juan’s location ‘have been detected’.
The first detection would ‘correspond to a metallic object’ about ‘300 kilometers off the coast of Puerto Madryn and 70 meters deep in the South Atlantic’.
The website also reported the other clue is a so-called infrasound signal picked up by one of the rescue ships using sonar
— Armada Argentina (@Armada_Arg) November 20, 2017
News.com.au reported on Monday that the missing sub could run out of oxygen in two days in a ‘worst-case scenario’ according to Argentine navy spokesman Enrique Balbi.
During a press conference in Mar del Plata on Monday, Naval Commander Gabriel Galeazzi said:
Oxygen is a permanent worry. Every day that passes is more critical.
He also confirmed the submarine’s captain had reported a breakdown, describing it as a ‘short-circuit’ in the sub’s battery system.
Capt Galeazzi said mechanical problems were ‘not uncommon and rarely posed a risk’.
A warship has a lot of backup systems, to allow it to move from one to another when there is a breakdown.
Around four thousand troops from a number of countries, including the US, Great Britain, France, Germany, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Uruguay, as well as Argentina – have joined in the search and rescue operation.
A NASA aircraft has flown over the search area but has failed to spot anything.
A man reacts outside the Argentine Naval Base, where the missing at sea ARA San Juan submarine sailed from, in Mar del Plata, Argentina, November 21, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY pic.twitter.com/jGthr0mD5D
— Marcos Brindicci (@MarcosBrindicci) November 22, 2017
Britain has also sent something called The Submarine Parachute Assistance Group – or SPAG – a little known, highly skilled unit.
The group, which consists of fewer than 10 people can deploy at six hours’ notice, writes Sky News.
If required to do so, SPAG can parachute into the sea to rescue stranded submariners. The group includes underwater medics, engineers and specialist escape technicians.
They drop down carrying pods which include inflatable boats, food, water and other supplies.
Here they are in action:
On board the ARA San Juan is 35-year-old Eliana María Krawczyk, the first female officer in Argentina to serve on a submarine.
Her dad calls her ‘the queen of the sea’, writes the BBC.
And despite the fact she was born and raised far inland, her relatives say Eliana was ‘born to be a submariner’.
Local media said the 43 men in the crew are of ‘varying ages and experience’ – and the sub’s engineer, Hernán Rodríguez, has been on the submarine for 11 years.
We hope for a happy outcome to the staff aboard the Argentine submarine and their families.