New search launched for missing Argentine submarine

Photo: Argentine Navy

A US multipurpose offshore vessel has begun a new search for the Argentine submarine A.R.A. San Juan which disappeared in the South Atlantic in November last year.

Seabed Constructor, belonging to the American company Ocean Infinity, arrived at the Port of Comodoro Rivadavia on September 6, the Argentine Navy said.

Operations have now commenced in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 300 nautical miles east of Comodoro Rivadavia, according to Ocean Infinity.

Ocean Infinity is using five autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to carry out the search, which will be conducted by a team of approximately 60 crew members on board Seabed Constructor.

In addition, three officers of the Argentine Navy and four family members of the crew of the ARA San Juan have joined Seabed Constructor to observe the search operation.

As explained, the Argentine Navy and the Royal Navy have provided information to the company related to the area to be searched.

Ocean Infinity has committed to conduct the search operation for up to sixty days and will take on the economic risk of the renewed search, only receiving payment if the submarine is found.

“For the sake of all involved in this tragedy, we hope that we can help locate the submarine.  As ever, there can be no guarantee of success as the exact location is unknown, as are the circumstances around her loss,” Oliver Plunkett, Ocean Infinity’s CEO, said.

The submarine and her crew of 44 were last heard of on November 15 when they reported a battery short circuit. The issue was resolved and the submarine was ordered to return to her base in Mar del Plata. The submarine went missing shortly thereafter.

Despite a massive international search effort, there has been no sign of the missing submarine so far.

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