Argentina reports new track in search of missing submarines


MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina – Boats and planes seeking a missing Argentine submarine with 44 crew members will return to a previous search zone after officials said on Wednesday that a noise made a week ago A moment ago in the South Atlantic could provide a clue about the location of the vessel.

The spokesman for the Argentine Navy, Captain Enrique Balbi, said that the "hydroacoustic anomaly" was determined by the United States and the specialized agencies that occurred on November 11. 15, only hours after the final contact with the ARA San Juan and could have come from the sub.

The sound originated about 30 miles north of the submarine's last recorded position, he said.

"It's a noise, we do not want to speculate" about what caused it, "said Balbi.

He said that Argentine Navy ships, as well as a US P-8 Poseidon aircraft and an air force plane Brazilians would return to the area to verify the runway, although the area was already registered.

On land, the relatives of the submarine's crew became increasingly anxious when experts said that the lost ship for seven days could be reaching a critical period of low oxygen.

Jorge Villarreal kept his eyes fixed on the ocean, hoping to take a look at the boat that was carrying his son, Fernando Villareal, a submarine officer.

"As a father, I want it to be rescued immediately, but we can not forget the inclement weather. And foreign aid simply does not come from one day to the next, "he said." We hope this goes well due to the improved climate and technology that is being used. "

The San Juan disappeared, as it was sailing from southern end of the port of Ushuaia to the city of Mar del Plata, about 250 kilometers (400 kilometers) southeast of Buenos Aires.

The Argentine Navy and external experts fear that the oxygen for the crew will last only seven 10 days if the submarine was intact but submerged The authorities do not know if the submarine rose to the surface to replenish its oxygen supply and charge batteries, which would affect the calculation.

The diesel submarine clbad TR-1700 built in Germany was scheduled to arrive on Monday at the naval base in Mar del Plata, where city residents have been pbading messages of support to the crew's relatives.

More than a dozen airplanes and ships They participate in the multinational search despite the stormy weather that has caused waves of more than 20 feet (6 meters). The search teams are combing an area of ​​approximately 185,000 square miles (480,000 square kilometers), which is roughly the size of Spain.

The US government UU He has sent two Poseidones P-8s, a naval research ship, a submarine rescue camera and a sonar-equipped submarine equipment. The sailors of the US Navy of the San Diego-based Submarine Rescue Command also help with the search.

President Donald Trump went to Twitter to offer his best wishes to Argentina on Wednesday, although he inflated the number of sailors missing in one. [19659006] "For a long time I have given the order to help Argentina with the mission of Search and Rescue of its missing submarine, 45 people on board and there is not much time left … May God be with them and with the people of Argentina ! ", Said his tweet.

Hopes were raised after brief satellite calls were received and sounds were detected deep in the South Atlantic. But experts later determined that neither of them was the missing sub. A US Navy plane later saw flares and a life raft was found in the search area, but authorities said none came from the missing submarine.

False alarms have shaken nerves among anguished family members. Some have begun to complain that the Argentine Navy responded too late.

"They took two days to accept help because they minimized the situation," Federico Ibáñez, brother of submarine team member Cristian Ibáñez, told The Associated Press.

The navy has said that the submarine reported a battery failure before disappearing. The authorities do not have specific details of the problem.

"I feel that the authorities let too much time pbad and the decisions were taken late," said Ibañez's sister, Elena Alfaro, outside the base. "And yet, I still have some hope."


Associated Press writer Almudena Calatrava reported this story in Mar del Plata and AP writer Luis Andres Henao reported from Buenos Aires. AP writer Julie Watson in San Diego and Debora Rey in Buenos Aires and AP video journalist Paul Byrne in Mar del Plata contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.

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