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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2017, 09:14 
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18 November 2017: CNN
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Argentine navy says it's lost contact with submarine

The Argentine navy is looking for one of its submarines after it lost contact with the vessel off the country's coast, the military service said Friday.

The ARA San Juan submarine was last spotted Wednesday in the San Jorge Gulf roughly 432 kilometers (268 miles) off the east coast, the navy said. At least 44 crew members were on board, state-run news agency Telam reported.

Crews are searching for the vessel by air and sea near its last known location in the Atlantic Ocean, navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters.

"We have ordered all terrestrial communication stations along the Argentine coast to carry out a preliminary and extended search of communications and to listen in to all the possible frequencies of the submarine," the navy said in a statement Friday.

The US Navy will deploy a P8-A Poseidon maritime aircraft to Argentina on Saturday, the US Naval Forces Southern Command said in a statement.

The 21-person crew had been in El Salvador supporting "counter-illicit trafficking patrol operations," the agency said in a statement. The aircraft was deployed to the western coast of Africa when a Korean ship sank in April and more recently, it was sent to Dominica in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

NASA will also help in the search with a P-3 Orion aircraft, agency spokeswoman Katherine Brown told CNN. She said the US plane was "already in Argentina on a scientific mission." The P-3 is a turboprop aircraft capable of long-duration flights, according to NASA.

The submarine had been traveling from far southern Argentina's Tierra del Fuego archipelago to its home base in Mar del Plata, a city hundreds of miles to the northeast.

"The submarine knows that if it does not have communication with land for this long, it has to surface," Balbi said.

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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2017, 09:18 
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More background on the submarine and crew

The Guardian
Quote:
Argentina's navy searches for missing submarine with 44 crew on board

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.

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.

Balbi said an initial search was hampered “because it was carried out at night and in bad meteorological conditions prevailing in the area of operations”.

The three navy ships and two aircraft flying rotations had “already swept 15% of the search area”, Balbi told reporters.

The vessel had not activated its emergency beacon, he said.

The navy denied a press report that there may have been a fire onboard.

“We are investigating the reasons for the lack of communication,” Balbi said. “If there was a communication problem, the boat would have to come to the surface.”

The diesel-powered 66-metre-long Class TR 1700 San Juan is one of the Argentinian navy’s three submarines. It was bought from Germany in 1985 and underwent a refit between 2007 and 2014 to extend its usefulness by 30 years.

It was on a voyage from the southernmost city of Ushuaia to the naval base of Mar del Plata when contact was lost.

Adm Gabriel González, chief of the Mar del Plata base, said the vessel had sufficient food and oxygen. “We have a loss of communications; we are not talking of an emergency,” he said.

Relatives of some of the crew members were at the base awaiting word of the search.

“We are praying to God and asking that all Argentinians help us to pray that they keep navigating and that they can be found,” said Claudio Rodríguez, whose brother is a crew member.

“We have faith that it’s only a loss of communications,” he told local television.

Among those onboard is Argentina’s first female submarine officer, Eliana Krawczyk, a 35-year-old weapons officer.

“Let us pray that nothing has happened to any crew member. At sea they are all brothers, and a submarine carries more risk than a ship,” her father, Eduardo, told Todo Noticias TV.

The governments of the US, UK and Chile have offered satellites and ships to aid in the search, according to Argentina’s foreign ministry.

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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2017, 08:04 
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19 November 2017: BBC

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Argentina missing submarine: Satellite signals detected

Signals have been detected that are thought to have come from an Argentine submarine that went missing with 44 crew on board, officials say.

The defence ministry is now trying to trace the location of the seven failed satellite calls received on Saturday.

Argentina has stepped up the search in the South Atlantic for the ARA San Juan submarine, with a Nasa research plane joining in.

The diesel-electric vessel disappeared 430km (267 miles) off the coast.

Britain and countries in the region have offered assistance. The US Navy is flying deep water rescue modules to Argentina to be deployed if the submarine is found on the sea floor.

The task of the rescuers has been complicated by heavy winds and high waves.
Power cut?

The ARA San Juan was returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia, near the southern-most tip of South America, to its base at Mar del Plata, south of Buenos Aires.

Its last contact with the navy command was on Wednesday morning.

An Argentine destroyer and two corvettes are conducting a search around the area of the sub's last known position off the south-eastern Valdez peninsula.

But so far there are no clues about its whereabouts.

It is thought that the submarine may have had communication difficulties caused by a power cut.

Navy protocol dictates that a vessel should come to the surface if communication has been lost.

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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 08:50 
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19 Nov 2017: The New York Times
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Search for Missing Argentine Submarine Raises Grim Scenarios

As search teams raced against time, and stormy seas, to find a missing Argentine submarine, officials said on Sunday that earlier hopeful reports that the crew might have tried to make satellite calls in recent days appeared to be wrong.

The Defense Ministry on Saturday had based optimistic statements on reports that there were seven attempts to communicate by satellite phone from the search area off the Patagonia coast.

But on Sunday, the Argentine Navy said that it was still analyzing the calls and that there was no “clear evidence” that the calls had come from the submarine. And the satellite phone company Iridium said in a statement that it had found no evidence that an Iridium phone aboard the vessel had been used since Wednesday morning.

The reports came as an increasingly robust international effort was hampered by stormy weather in the 186-square-mile search area.

Waves towered as high as 22 feet, while thunderstorms and powerful gusts of wind hindered the visibility and mobility of Argentine, American, British, Chilean and Brazilian military personnel scouring the area in ships and aircraft.
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“These are less than favorable conditions that do make things difficult,” said Cmdr. Erik Reynolds, a United States Navy spokesman. “You’re talking about 44 sailors out there. If they’re in trouble, there’s a finite amount of time to get to them, so I think there is a great deal of concern by the international community.”

The mystery surrounding the fate of the crew aboard the San Juan, a German-made submarine that has been part of Argentina’s fleet since 1985, has transfixed the nation since news of its disappearance broke early Friday. The submarine last made radio contact on Wednesday.

Roughly 200 family members of the service members onboard were invited to await news at the Mar del Plata Naval Base in this seaside city, where two psychologists and one psychiatrist were on hand.

“This has turned into one big family, and we are all helping each other get through this difficult time,” María Morales, 51, the mother of crew member Luís García, said in an interview. “Sadly we don’t have any news, but at least there is no bad news.”

On Sunday, Argentine Navy officials sought to temper hopes raised the previous day by reports of the satellite phone calls.

Iridium officials have repeatedly called the company’s satellite phone onboard the vessel since Friday, but have had no luck getting through, according to an employee familiar with the effort who was not authorized to speak on the record. Argentine officials would not say whether the vessel had other satellite phones onboard.

Officials involved in the search and submarine experts following developments were contemplating a range of possibilities for what might have happened to the submarine.

The best-case scenario, according to some experts, was that the submarine’s communications gear malfunctioned — perhaps as a result of a fire or flood — but that it did not lose the ability to navigate. Working against that theory is the fact that the submarine was due to arrive at its home port here on Sunday.

“It’s grim,” said Capt. Richard Bryant, a retired United States Navy submarine commander. “It implies that the ship is either on the surface without the ability to use its propulsion or that the ship is submerged.”

The first of those possibilities is deeply concerning, but not hopeless, according to experts. Given the stormy conditions, the crew is in significant peril if the vessel is being whiplashed.

The grimmest alternative is that the submarine sank as a result of a catastrophic event such as an explosion or fire. If the crew survived such an event, those onboard could conceivably have enough oxygen for several days after it went under, according to an Argentine Navy official who was not authorized to speak on the record.

If it is flailing on the surface, and the crew manages to weather the storm, the sailors would have enough fresh water and food to last for about 25 days, the official said.

The growing concern on Sunday was fueled by the fact that the crew had not activated emergency beacons that are standard in commercial and military vessels.

“The fact that we haven’t had communication for so long, that it didn’t show up at port as expected, and the fact that at least the initial search effort hasn’t found anything yet all point to the fact that the submarine may well unfortunately have been lost,” Captain Bryant said.

In Mar del Plata, residents on Sunday affixed Argentine flags and signs outside the military base.

“With the soul at a standstill until they return,” one read. “Stay strong Argentina; In God we trust; We await your return,” said another message, scrawled in large black letters on a flag.

Argentine veterans were among the well-wishers who gathered outside the base on Sunday, a bitterly cold and gusty day in this city, a popular summertime destination.

“I think it’s very important to be here to show support for the crew and their family, show them there is a city rooting for their safe return,” said Adolfo Albornoz, 79, a veteran of the Falklands War.

Mr. Albornoz said he resented the continued British control of the islands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas, that were the subject of that short war in 1982. “But in this case I’m glad they’re helping out. This is a time to set aside our differences.”

The Argentine military submarine San Juan and crew leaving the port of Buenos Aires in 2014 (Armada Argentina)
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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 09:10 
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Resources deployed in search for sub.
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NASA Pic of the search area by one of their planes.

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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 09:29 
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The lack of a distress buoy is a concern too.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 12:06 
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Starting to look like the sub has gone down with all hands on board,the Sub being commissioned in 1985 model was looking rather run down,perhaps collided with a ship or sunken object and sunk..or major mechanical failure?We may never know? maybe to never be found,as no distress call or beacon was found going to be hard to find it,also the bad weather conditions,if any debris the weather is going to make it even more harder to find any...Argentina's first female submarine officer, Eliana María Krawczyk was on board too.

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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 13:24 
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Do our Valour class frigates have any submarine detection capability? Wouldn't it be great if we could send one to help. I think only Spioenkop would be available, with Amatola heading to Reunion and Isandlwana and Mendi in refit.

Interesting to note that ARA San Juan was in major refit for a long time, around 7 years. I think she was even cut in half so they could replace the main engines and batteries.

Unfortunately it's looking more and more like she's been lost with all hands. Very sad.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 13:33 
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One of the primary purposes of the Valour class is anti-sub work (along with anti-surface and anti-air).

However, I don't think her sensors will be of much use detection-wise if the sub is sitting somewhere on the seabed ... :(

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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 21:33 
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http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/20/americas/ ... index.html

Apparently they might have heard noises that sound like tapping on the hull.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 22:13 
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Hoping for the best [-o< [-o< [-o< .


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2017, 07:32 
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Not looking good, but [-o< [-o< [-o<

Submariners are truly brave men and women.

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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2017, 08:58 
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Not looking good at all.

Apparently Argentine Navy have said now that the sound detected was not from the submarine. http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/20/ameri ... index.html


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2017, 09:46 
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Very sad indeed :cry:

Let us all take a moment to make a little pray for the crew and families!

Submariners are a rare breed!

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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2017, 14:09 
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http://navaltoday.com/2017/11/22/heat-s ... r-reports/

P-8A Poseidon has picked up a heat signature. Let's hope it's third time lucky.


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