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Argentine navy not giving up search for sub after 'explosion' report

Argentine navy not giving up search for sub after 'explosion' report

The submarine, ARA San Juan, went missing in the South Atlantic on November 15 with 44 crew members on board.

Argentina's Navy confirmed on Thursday that there was a "singular, abnormal, short, violent and non-nuclear event" consistent with an explosion in the area where the submarine was lost.

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

Balbi declined to say anything Saturday to confirm assumptions that the submarine crew had perished.

A member of the U.S. Navy stands next to the Boeing P-8A Poseidon plane before its departure to take part in the search for the ARA San Juan submarine missing at sea, at a military air base in Bahia Blanca, Argentina November 22, 2017.

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The ARA San Juan's last known position was in the San Jorge Gulf area, 240 nautical miles (432 kilometers) southeast of the Valdes peninsula, in the South Atlantic.

If the vessel remained intact, its crew would have only enough oxygen to survive submerged for a little more than a week.

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

Friday, Balbi said he wouldn't entertain speculation about where the San Juan is, despite knowing roughly where the noise came from.

"It's rewarding to know we can help out the best that we can", Collver said.

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After eight days of uncertainty amid search and rescue efforts by more than a dozen countries, the relatives received word from the Argentine navy that an explosion had occurred aboard the ARA San Juan on November 15 in the area near the submarine's last known position.

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. But the Argentine defence minister later said the calls did not come from the submarine.

Speaking at a forum on open government in Buenos Aires, Argentine President Mauricio Macri said: "In these hard hours, I did not want to start without sending once again all my support to the families of the crew of the ARA San Juan submarine".

The information about the explosion received on Thursday morning was consistent with a separate report received on Wednesday of an "acoustic anomaly" in the same area and around the same time the vessel gave its last signal, Balbi said.

The Vienna-based agency, which has monitoring stations equipped with devices including underwater microphones that scan the oceans for sound waves, said in a statement that two of its stations had detected an unusual signal near where the submarine went missing.

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