20:03 GMT14 April 2021
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    Among the extra seven members were two combat swimmers from the Buzos Tacticos special purpose unit of the Argentine navy, as well as an employee of the Naval Intelligence Service, the source said, citing a spouse of an intelligence agent who was on board the distressed submarine.

    The ARA San Juan submarine with a crew of 44 stopped responding and went missing on November 15, while en route from Ushuaia to Mar del Plata. The Navy said a likely explosion had been registered in the area close to where the last contact was made.

    The number of people on board of Argentina’s missing San Juan submarine allegedly exceeded the prescribed number by seven people, a brother of one of the submarine’s junior officers told Sputnik.

    “The submarine has a total of 37 permanent crew places, but this time 44 people were on board,” the relative of the officer said.

    In addition, the brother of the crew member added that the accident on board might have taken place a day prior to the disappearance of the vessel, on November 14 instead of November 15.

    Head of Naval Base Resigns Amid Search for Missing Submarine

    Head of Argentina’s naval base of Mar del Plata Rear Admiral Gabriel Gonzalez, responsible for communication with relatives of missing crew members of San Juan submarine, has reportedly resigned amid the continuing search for the vessel.

    Gonzalez had allegedly submitted a letter of resignation three day ago, the Telam news agency reported.

    At the same time, a powerful wind has delayed a search operation with the use of US mini-submarine as the specialists are not able  to lift a mini-submarine on board of a Norwegian vessel, which should sail it to the site of the search and rescue operation.

    The speed of the wind now reaches up to 31 miles kilometers per hour (50 kilometers) in the area of the Argentina’s southern Comodoro-Rivadavia port.

    Russian Search Sub Equipment to Arrive Within Days

    Two Argentine Navy ships will deliver Russian equipment to the area, where the search operation to recover San Juan is taking place, in the next few days, Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said Saturday.

    "We have made logistics changes. Antonov [An-124 airlift jet aircraft] landed in [the city of] Comodoro Rivadavia, corvette Rosales and Islas Malvinas ship of Argentine Navy are en route to Comodoro Rivadavia, where they will take on board [Russian] advanced visual search equipment," Balbi said at a press conference.

    The spokesman added that the Russian equipment would be delivered to the search area within the next few days.

    Balbi stressed that the operation would be led from Comodoro Rivadavia rather than Ushuaia due to better coordination options.

    "All the help from the United States and now from Russia as well is being coordinated there, focusing logistics capabilities of all equipment that we have and everyone who is helping us," the navy spokesman explained.


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