Water Entered Missing Submarine's Snorkel

Calvin Saunders
November 30, 2017

No sign of the Argentine submarine lost in the South Atlantic since November 15 has been found despite a massive global search effort, while families of the 44 crew members face the increasing likelihood that their loved ones will never return.

The final contact from the vessel, which has 44 crew members on board, reportedly said seawater had entered the ventilation system, causing a battery on the diesel-electric submarine to short-circuit.

Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said on Monday that water had entered through the snorkel, which is a device that allows a submarine to operate submerged while still taking in air from the surface.

"The disappearance and current search for the ARA San Juan submarine has touched all Argentines", he said, according to Sky News.

It has been 13 days since the Argentinean submarine ARA San Juan went missing while sailing home base at Mar del Plata.

Members of the U.S. Navy Undersea Rescue Command (URC) disembark from the Sophie Siem vessel moored at Comodoro Rivadavia harbor to support the search and rescue efforts for the Argentine missing submarine ARA San Juan in Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut Province, Argentina, on November 26, 2017. The banner reads "Camarades, be strong".

After contact was lost a Vienna-based global network of listening posts detected a noise the navy said could have been the submarine's implosion
After contact was lost a Vienna-based global network of listening posts detected a noise the navy said could have been the submarine's implosion

The families have said they suspect the more than 30-year-old vessel was not properly maintained, a charge the government denies, and that the navy has been slow in sharing information with them.

The navy said it followed protocol while looking for the submarine, despite waiting two days after it lost contact with the vessel to begin the search.

"The problem with being the loved one of someone who is missing is that the mourning process can not start, because they are still out there somewhere", local psychologist Guillermo Bruchstein said in a Saturday television interview.

Crews from a number of nations are searching by air and sea for the San Juan in an area of roughly 40,000 square kilometers, Balbi said Tuesday. The families are holding out hope for good news, but as each day passes, the hope that is present dwindles away. Others, however, are not sure. "It is not that I want this". He left his mother and sister behind, but there is no sense in being stubborn. But why have they not found it yet? "They lied to us".

He told reporters that this was reported by the captain of the submarine in one of the last communications sessions.

The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan and crew are seen leaving the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jun. 2, 2014.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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