“Hydroacoustic anomaly” latest possible trace in search for missing Argentine submarine

Argentine Navy file photo

A new trace in the form of a “hydroacoustic anomaly” could help locate the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan which has been missing since November 15.

Argentine Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters on Wednesday that the anomaly had been detected in the morning of November 15, some 30 miles north of the submarine’s last known location.

Asked whether this anomaly could have been an explosion aboard the submarine, Balbi said the navy would not jump to conclusions adding that more details would be known on Thursday.

Previous reports of heat signals possibly coming from the submarine have been dismissed.

The 44 crew of the diesel-electric submarine have been missing since November 15 and the submarine’s oxygen reserve are likely close to being depleted. Unlike the nuclear-powered submarines which can remain submerged for long periods of time, the TR-1700-class diesel-electric submarine only has enough oxygen for some 10 days under water.

Relatives gathered at the Mar del Plata base in anticipation of news about the ARA San Juan expressed their dissatisfaction with both how the situation is being handled and the fact that the navy sent 44 sailors on a 10-day trip in such an old submarine.

ARA San Juan is a 32-year-old TR-1700-class diesel-electric submarine built by Germany’s Thyssen Nordseewerke. The submarine returned to service in 2014 after several years of repairs.

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