Sounds not from missing Argentine sub

Jerome Frank
November 22, 2017

Authorities were investigating white flares spotted in the South Atlantic overnight, as urgency grew on Tuesday in the search for a missing Argentine navy submarine amid worry that its 44 crew members could be running out of oxygen.

The submarine, with 44 crew on board, disappeared 430km (270 miles) off the Argentine coast.

Gabriel Galeazzi, a naval commander, told reporters that the submarine had come up from the depths and reported an electrical malfunction before it disappeared 268 miles (432 km) off the coast.

On Monday, Argentina's navy said that the noises which they hoped were coming from tools being banged against the hull of a submarine in Morse code signals have been analyzed.

The submarine was heading from a base in southern Argentina's Tierra del Fuego archipelago to its home port in Mar del Plata. "For now, based on the color, they don't belong to the submarine", Balbi said.

The San Juan carries red and green flares, Balbi said, but authorities will still try to identify the origin of the white signals.

The calls that were detected "did not correspond to the satellite phone of the submarine San Juan", he said on Monday, adding that the craft had oxygen for seven days.

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Argentina's Navy Launches Search For Missing Submarine With 44 Crew Aboard
An Argentine national flag hangs at the entrance of the Argentine Naval Base Mar del Plata, where the missing submarine is based. The San Juan , which has a crew of 44, was last heard heard from on Wednesday before it went missing in the Atlantic Ocean.

There was one more communication with the captain before the sub went missing, Galeazzi said. The Argentine navy said an electrical outage on the diesel-electric-propelled vessel might have downed its communications.

The Argentine military has also been working with a USA company that specializes in satellite communication to determine the location of the submarine.

Under normal circumstances, the vessel has sufficient fuel, water, oil and oxygen to operate for weeks without external help, Balbi said, and the vessel could "snorkel" - or raise a tube to the surface - "to charge batteries and draw fresh air for the crew".

Ships and aircraft from at least seven nations have been scouring parts of the South Atlantic for the sub. "This is why we are deploying all resources with high-tech sensors".

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. "They could not help determine a point on the map to help the search".

Earlier hopes that searchers may have heard communication attempts by the crew have not panned out, the military said. The U.S., UK, Chile, Brazil and other countries have contributed assets to the search, and a total of almost 50 ships and aircraft are actively looking for the missing vessel.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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