Argentine Submarine That Vanished With 44 Aboard Is Found, Navy Says
BUENOS AIRES — An Argentine military submarine has been found deep in the Atlantic Ocean
almost a year to the day
after it disappeared with 44 crew members aboard, the Argentine Navy said early Saturday.
The submarine, the San Juan, was located almost 2,600 feet below the ocean’s surface by a private company that the government hired after a search involving more than a dozen nations failed to locate the vessel, which disappeared on Nov. 15, 2017.
The announcement came
in a tweet
: “There has been a positive identification of the #AraSanJuan.”
A spokesman for the navy, Rodolfo Ramallo, said the discovery of the San Juan “closes one chapter and opens another.”
“Based on the state of the submarine we will have to determine what happened,” he said.
The submarine disappeared during a routine trip from Ushuaia in the Patagonia region to Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires Province. Eight days later — in the midst of recovery operations that covered 186,000 square miles — the navy announced that an explosion had been recorded near the submarine’s last known location, just hours after its last communication with the military.
The explosion came to light only after analysts from the United States government and an international nuclear weapons monitor detected it and notified the Argentines. Vessels from the United States, Britain, Brazil, Chile and Russia, among others, combed the seas as part of the search.
It was unclear on Saturday whether the military would be able to resurface the San Juan. If not, Mr. Ramallo said, the navy could use images to analyze the vessel for answers about its disappearance.
“We have to see whether it is whole or whether it is split, and from there we can carry out the necessary analysis,” Mr. Ramallo said.
The San Juan was found by Ocean Infinity, a Houston-based company known for its work trying to locate Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared over the Indian Ocean in 2014.
The mystery surrounding the fate of the crew aboard the San Juan, a German-made submarine that has been part of Argentina’s fleet since 1985, transfixed the nation.
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