Published: Sun, November 26, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Families of Argentine Submarine Crew Informed That All Aboard Are Dead

Families of Argentine Submarine Crew Informed That All Aboard Are Dead

As the search for the missing Argentina submarine has entered a "critical phase", the country's navy said Wednesday it was investigating an unusual noise detected in the South Atlantic hours after it last communicated with the vessel.

The explosion had been detected by the U.S. Navy and an worldwide nuclear test-ban monitoring organization in Austria, which has a network of hydroacoustic seismic stations, ARA spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters here.

Another family member criticized the condition of the submarine and said it should never have been used for the mission.

Argentinian navy spokesman Enrique Balbi has said the search will continue until there is full certainty about what happened to the San Juan.

The noise was observed around the time the ARA San Juan submarine sent its last signal last week.

If the German-built submarine, in service for more than three decades, had sunk or was otherwise unable to rise to the surface since it gave its last location on 15 November, it would be using up the last of its seven-day oxygen supply.

The news was sorely received by relatives of the San Juan crew members.

Relatives of the crew members have gathered at a naval base in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, some 400 km south of Buenos Aires, where the search is being coordinated.

Argentine officials first learned about the noise Wednesday, Balbi told reporters.

Its fate remains a mystery, but here's a look at what experts say may have caused the explosion.

The submarine was traveling last week from a base in Argentina's far southern Tierra del Fuego archipelago to its home base in Mar del Plata, on the northern side of the country.

The vessel's captain had radioed in a "failure" in the sub's battery system as well as a "short circuit" shortly before it disappeared, Argentine navy spokesman Gabriel Galeazzi said Monday, according to CNN.

"Here, we're talking about a singular, short, violent, non-nuclear event, consistent with an explosion", he said.

Enrique Balbi, spokesman for the Argentine Navy (ARA), speaks during a press conference about Argentine's missing submarine ARA San Juan, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 23, 2017.

The Vienna-based Comprehensive nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) runs monitoring stations equipped with devices including hydrophones - underwater microphones that scan the oceans for sound waves.

From the window of a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon airplane taking part in an worldwide search for a missing Argentine submarine, the glistening vastness of the South Atlantic stretches in every direction.

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