Argentina’s navy has launched a huge search-and-rescue operation for a military submarine with 44 crew members that has been missing off the coast of Patagonia for more than two days, according to the Guardian.
The last radio contact with the San Juan submarine was on Wednesday, when it was 430km off the coast of the southern province of Chubut, in the area of San Jorge bay, a naval spokesman said on Friday.
Local media reports claimed the submarine had been located 70 metres down in waters 300km east of the Patagonian coastal city of Puerto Madryn by the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liason Office.
The media reports have not been officially confirmed and came as
Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, tweeted that: “We are committed to using
all the national and international resources that are necessary to find the
Argentinean Navy’s submarine San Juan as soon as possible.”
The navy spokesman, Enrique Balbi, told local television that as there was no indication of problems from the submarine, it could not yet be termed lost.
“The latest official and reliable information is that the submarine has not yet been found.It’s not that it’s lost: to be lost you’d have to look for it – and not find it,” he said.
A tracker aeroplane and navy ships were scouring the area in search of the missing vessel, he said.
An initial search in an area around the sub’s last known position, about 430km off the south-eastern Valdés peninsula, provided no clues.