Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Worries over oxygen supply on missing Argentina submarine
By Liliana SAMUEL, Carlos REYES and Eitan ABRAMOVICH
Mar Del Plata, Argentina (AFP) Nov 22, 2017

An international search mission for a missing Argentine submarine entered a critical phase Tuesday after nearly a week without signs of life -- as the vessel risked running out of oxygen after being submerged for so long.

The ARA San Juan would have enough oxygen for its crew to survive underwater for seven days, if there was no hull breach, according to officials. At 0730 GMT Wednesday, that time will have elapsed.

"The question of oxygen has worried us since the beginning," admitted navy spokesman Enrique Balbi.

"Little by little we enter an increasingly critical phase."

The vessel, which has 44 crew members, made its last contact with authorities to report a mechanical breakdown, but, as storm conditions which had impeded rescuers eased, officials said they were not ceding to despair yet.

"We haven't discarded any hypothesis. Assuming the most critical phase, which would be the submarine is submerged and cannot surface, we are in the 6th day of oxygen," Enrique Balbi told a news conference in Buenos Aires earlier Tuesday.

"As a submariner, I am not losing hope," he said.

The 34-year-old German-built diesel-electric submarine that was refitted between 2007 and 2014 had flagged a breakdown in its batteries and said it was diverting its route from the far south of Argentina's Atlantic waters to the navy base at Mar del Plata, where most of the crewmembers live.

It didn't issue a distress call, however. It was unclear if the problem ended leaving the vessel without propulsion or unable to surface.

The search began November 16, when there was no more contact.

- National apprehension -

The sub's disappearance has gripped the nation, and President Mauricio Macri visited the relatives -- troubled by earlier false hopes -- and prayed with them.

Underwater sounds were determined to originate from a sea creature, not the vessel.

Satellite signals were also determined to be false alarms.

Argentina is leading an air-and-sea search with help from nine countries, including Brazil, Britain, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, the United States and Uruguay.

Poor weather in the South Atlantic had badly hampered the operation in the past few days, with strong winds and waves that had towered as high as six meters (20 feet).

But conditions improved Tuesday.

"Luckily, wind intensity has started to drop, and waves are three to four meters, which should allow a three-dimensional sweep of the (sea) floor," Balbi said.

The initial search zone was already large, with a diameter of 300 kilometers (200 miles) and a depth of up to 350 meters (1,200 feet).

But it could be expanded sevenfold, according to the defense ministry.

- 'They will come back' -

The incident has recalled recent submarine disasters, perhaps most prominently that of the Kursk, a Russian nuclear sub that caught fire and exploded underwater in 2000, killing all 118 on board -- some instantly, others over days.

There was also a Chinese sub accident in 2003 that killed 70 crew, apparently suffocated after what Beijing termed "mechanical problems."

Among the ARA San Juan's crew is Argentina's first female navy submariner: Eliana Krawczyk, 35.

Cards, banners with slogans and placards have been strung up on the outside of the Mar del Plata base's wire fence, expressing solidarity with the families tensely waiting for any news.

"There's a mix of feelings: pain, helplessness, at times hope," Maria Morales said. "The feeling is that they will come back, that we will tell us today, 'They are back.'"

Noises detected in Argentine sub search disappoint
Mar Del Plata, Argentina (AFP) Nov 21, 2017
Experts ruled out Monday the possibility that noise detected at sea could have come from an Argentine submarine missing with 44 people aboard, in the latest bad news to hit their relatives. "The sound footprint could not correspond to a sub's... it may have been a noise from a living thing," said navy spokesman Enrique Balbi. "The search continues," he added, noting that there are 14 ve ... read more

Related Links
Naval Warfare in the 21st Century

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

US Scrambles to Assemble Space-Based Missile Defense System

Boeing meets 2017 ballistic missile defense installation goal early

Sweden picks US Patriot missile system over European rival

Missile from Yemen intercepted near Riyadh airport

State Dept. approves potential missile sale to Poland

Raytheon awarded contract for Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile program

Lockheed Martin to test AGM-158 JASSM

Raytheon sale of AMRAAMs to Norway approved by State Department

Pentagon steps up Somalia drone strikes

Lockheed Martin Integrates New Engine for Fury Unmanned Air Vehicle

Alpha Unmanned Systems teams with Sightec for image stabilization and object tracking.

Leonardo delivers Falco EVO drones to Middle East

US Navy accepts 5th MUOS Satellite for global military cellular network

SES GS Awarded US Government Satellite Solutions Contract

16th SPCS Defenders of critical satellite communications

First order for Elta ELK-1882T SATCOM network system

Saab to supply South African forces with field kitchens

Raytheon, Saab to develop improved shoulder-launched weapon systems

MBDA Inc. to produce parts for Small Diameter Bomb

Swedish army to buy BONUS ammunition from BAE

Congress sends $700 bn defense bill for Trump's signature

Lockheed, Navantia renew collaborative agreement

Philippines' Duterte receives Russian assault rifles

Whistleblower protection bill sent to President as complaints of retaliation grow

NATO sorry after Erdogan pulls troops over Norway incident

NATO takes 'disciplinary' action over Turkey 'enemy' insult

France on a mission to restore lost Middle East clout

Duterte says Philippines owes China 'debt of gratitude'

Manganese dioxide shows potential in micromotors

Promising sensors for submarines, mines and spacecraft

Better, bolder printing with silicon nanostructures

Practical superconducting nanowire single photon detector highly efficient

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement