US Navy ‘Spot Object’ Where Missing Submarine Last Sent Signal

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US Navy Spot Object Where Missing Submarine Last Sent Signal Argentine Submarine A 1Getty

A US Navy plane has spotted an object in the area the missing Argentine submarine sent its last signal before dropping out of communications last week.

A witness on board the aircraft said the crew claimed the object could not be identified, and it remains unknown whether it was related to the San Juan, which went missing on November 15 with 44 crew on board.

The plane, a P-8A Poseidon, was one of dozens of Argentine and international craft hunting for the submarine, before returning to its base in Bahia Blanca, Argentina with the news late on Wednesday.

US Navy Spot Object Where Missing Submarine Last Sent Signal Submarine rescuers 1PA

Argentine authorities have been investigating a noise reported below the sea’s surface, in the same area where the missing submarine is believed to have disappeared in the Atlantic.

The so-called ‘hydroacoustic anomaly’ was picked up at around 11am last Wednesday, 30 miles from the last reported location.

Asked whether the noise could have been an explosion, Argentinian Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said they are ‘not drawing any conclusions’ but that ‘it is a noise which must be collaborated and investigated’.

US Navy Spot Object Where Missing Submarine Last Sent Signal submarine search 1PA

Russia today contributed to the international effort by sending a navy vessel to join the search party.

In a phone call late Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered Argentinian President Mauricio Macri ‘words of support over the situation with the San Juan submarine,’ the Kremlin said in a statement, adding: ‘Russia offered aid in the search and rescue operations.’

Hopes were previously raised after rescuers detected a ‘heat stain’, 230ft below the ocean’s surface. Hundreds of people – including relatives of crew members – gathered at the Mar del Plata Naval Base in anticipation of news.

However, rescuers, who have been battling fierce storms, have said they have found ‘no trace’ of the German-built submarine, following analysis of the heat stain.

A total of 44 crew members are known to be aboard the San Juan, and the seven-day oxygen supply is now due to run out.

Argentine Navy spokesmen Enrique Balbi explained there was no trace of the vessel. Balbi admitted the situation is now at a critical phase.

This is not the first disappointment in a search which has involved over 4,000 personnel from 12 different countries.

Since the sub went missing on November 15, there have been several detected signals such as sounds or flares. However, these have all turned out to be false alarms.

According to Balbi:

We are continuing with this phase of search and rescue.

We are in the critical part, it has reached the seventh day in terms of oxygen, supposing that for seven days it has not had the capacity to go to the surface and renew the oxygen.

But we are not dismissing the other options, that it could be on the surface.

Some people have criticised the Argentinian navy’s delay before telling President Mauricio Macri that contact with the missing submarine had been lost.

Sister of missing radar officer Cristian Ibañez, Helena Alfaro told Todo Noticias:

I feel like I’m at a wake, that’s how I feel. I also feel time passing and time is crucial.

I’m deeply pained by the decisions taken. Why so much protocol? Is protocol going to bring them back?

However, Navy chiefs have advised that a 48-hour waiting period before search efforts begin is military protocol.

Our thoughts are with those on board the submarine, and their families.