The Argentine Navy confirmed that an explosion occurred near the position from which the missing submarine ARA San Juan last sent her position.
The confirmation follows reports from November 22 which said several agencies had been investigating a so-called “hydroacoustic anomaly” which took place on November 15, around the time ARA San Juan last communicated.
The navy has now confirmed that the sound in question was indeed an explosion but has not confirmed the deaths of 44 crew aboard the submarine as it is yet to be found. While the navy could not provide details about the fate of the submarine’s crew, fears are widespread that there would be no survivors. It is feared that, even if an explosion did not occur on the submarine, the submariners are likely to have run out of air after nine days under water.
An international search party composed of a number of specialized aircraft and ships equipped with unmanned and remotely operated underwater vehicles continues. Search and rescue units are currently focused on a swath of ocean 250 kilometers in radius, near the continental shelf off the coast of Puerto Madryn.
Meanwhile, Russia has deployed a team of experts from St. Petersburg to Argentina to aid the search efforts. The Russian Navy special purpose ship Yantar has also been sent to the region after being rerouted from west Africa shores.