Argentina’s San Juan submarine has been missing for 5 days with no communication from the 44 crew members on board. Argentinian officials have confirmed that the signals picked up by the American satellite were not sent by the disappeared submarine as they originally thought.
Watch: Initial reports of the signals picked up by the US satellite
An Argentinian submarine has been missing for the past five days, likely located somewhere deep in the Atlantic Ocean. The families of the 44 crew members have been assembled at the naval base to await news. This morning, they thought they received some good news and were told that the crew of the missing submarine may have tried to make contact recently. Those reports have since been refuted by Argentinian officials and no news has yet been received on the whereabouts of the submarine.
Seven distress signals lasting between 4 and 36 seconds over five hours were picked up on Saturday by an American satellite- signals that may have indicated that the submarine team was trying to reconnect with its base on land. The Argentinian navy had reiterated that this was preliminary information that was still under investigation and have since confirmed that the signals did not come from the missing vessel. According to reports, the submarine is equipped with enough food to last the crew only a few days.
The US has sent advanced search planes to attempt to locate the missing submarine- the same type that helped in the search for the missing Malaysian plane. All merchant ships in the area were asked to report any suspicious signs and sophisticated naval rescue equipment has begun to make its way to Argentina from the US and the United Kingdom.
The last big submarine to sink was Russia’s Kursk in 2000 and 118 crew members were killed. Family members who move between despair and hope are familiar with the stories, but also know that rescue technologies have developed significantly in recent years.
Argentina does not yet know what caused the malfunction that led to the submarine’s disappearance, but has said that the San Juan submarine, manufactured by a German company that has already gone bankrupt, has been in the navy for over three decades. The stormy weather in the region has made the search difficult and may also make it harder for the submarine to rise above sea level.