Hope for missing submarine as possible signal detected

Maria Krawczyk a submarine officer on board the Argentine navy submarine ARA San Juan

TWITTER Maria Krawczyk a submarine officer on board the Argentine navy submarine ARA San Juan

The Southern Command of the United States (SOUTHCOM), based in Miami Florida, reported that a US Military aircraft with a crew of 21 members will depart from Jacksonville, the northern part of the state of Florida, and is expected to arrive this Sunday in the South American country.

The U.S. government is supporting a request from the government of Argentina for worldwide assistance to the ongoing search for the missing submarine and possible rescue opportunities once the vessel and crew are located.

The sonar systems of the two ships detected noises sounding like tools being banged against the hull of a submarine, according to a senior US Navy official familiar with the Navy's assistance in the search for the Argentine vessel.

The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan and crew leaving the port of Buenos Aires in 2014
REUTERS The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan and crew leaving the port of Buenos Aires in 2014

The second rescue system and supporting equipment will be transported using additional flights, and is scheduled to arrive in Argentina next week, the navy said in a statement.

The calls, detected on Saturday, had been seen as hope that the 44 crew aboard the A.R.A. San Juan were alive.

Claudio Rodriguez, whose brother Hernan is aboard the submarine, was hopeful, saying the satellite signals suggested the vessel was still afloat and would be found. The Argentine sub has been missing in the Argentine Sea, and the subsequent search is entering its fifth day. "We still have no established contact", Balbi said, as cited by Clarin.

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Along with this, looking for submarine search planes, a ship and several types of equipment from the American side, Brazil and the United Kingdom, and most of Argentina.

The calls revived hopes that the submarine has surfaced, but a powerful storm that has whipped up waves reaching seven meters (23 feet) in height has made geolocation hard, officials said. However, it would not be unusual for storms to cause delays, Balbi said.

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.

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It is one of three submarines in the Argentine fleet.

Authorities last had contact with the German-built, diesel-electric sub on Wednesday as it was on a voyage from the extreme southern port of Ushuaia to Mar del Plata.

The vessel disappeared 430km (267 miles) off the Argentine coast.

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Sixty-five meters long and seven meters wide, it was built by Germany's Thyssen Nordseewerke and launched in 1983.

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