Argentina says noise wasn't from missing sub

Pauline Gross
November 22, 2017

Naval spokesperson, Captain Gabriel Galeazzi, said on Tuesday the search is now happening over "480,000 square kilometers".

Argentina's navy said a "noise" picked up by sonar on Monday during the search did not come from the vessel. "The sounds are not from the submarine and do not correspond to a pattern that could be interpreted as Morse code", Balbi told reporters.

The Argentine navy was able to fix the rough location of the sounds the two ships picked up and is now concentrating its search in an area of 35 square nautical miles approximately 330 miles off the coast of Argentina, the official said. More than a dozen boats and planes from Argentina, the United States, Britain, Chile and Brazil have joined the search for the vessel.

A man stands in front of signs in support of the 44 crew members of the ARA San Juan submarine missing at sea, placed on a fence outside the Argentine Naval Base where the submarine sailed from, in Mar del Plata, Argentina November 20, 2017.

The craft was navigating normally, underwater, at a speed of five knots toward Mar del Plata when it was last heard from, he said. The sub and her 44 crewmembers were ordered to return to the naval base at Mar del Plata for repairs, and the vessel's last known position was about 240 nm off the coast of Patagonia, near the San Jorge Gulf.

"A warship has a lot of backup systems, to allow it to move from one to another when there is a breakdown", Galeazzi said.

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The U.S. Navy deployed its sailors after the government of Argentina asked for worldwide assistance in the search.

On Sunday, search units were largely relying on information gathered from a British polar exploration vessel, the HMS Protector, which was equipped with an underwater search probe and was following the path taken by the submarine, the ARA San Juan.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri met with family members at the base as they waited for news about their loved ones. "We continue to do everything, deploying all available national and worldwide media, to find them as soon as possible".

If the sub is bobbing adrift on the surface and the hatch is open, it will have an available air supply and enough food for about 30 days, he said. He says it likely came from a "biological" source.

The navy also announced on Monday that seven signals picked up at the weekend were not from the missing submarine's satellite phone. It was built in Germany and in 2008 was brought to Argentina for maintenance which included the replacement of the electric propeller engines together with the four diesel engines, Reuters reports.

Other reports by GizPress

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