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.
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.
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.