By: Jake Hughes
It’s been in the news a lot recently: an Argentinian submarine, the ARA San Juan, was lost at sea last week. An international effort is currently underway to locate the missing boat before it’s too late. Here are the pertinent facts as we know them, according to CNN:
- The ARA San Juan was supposed to dock in Mar del Plata, about 260 miles south of Buenos Aires, on Sunday.
- The sub was last spotted Wednesday in the San Jorge Gulf, around 200 kilometers off of the Patagonia province on Argentina’s southern end. It was about halfway between the bases.
- The country’s naval spokesman, Gabriel Galeazzi, said Monday the captain of the San Juan reported a “failure” in the vessel’s battery system shortly before it disappeared.
- The San Juan is a diesel powered boat with a crew of 44. By rough estimates, it has enough food, fuel, and water to last it 30-40 days. However, unless it is afloat or in shallow enough waters to raise its snorkel, it may only have enough oxygen to last seven days.
The Rescue Effort
- According to a tweet on Friday, the navy said they were “conducting operations to resume communications with the ARA ‘San Juan’ submarine.”
- Seven communication attempts were recorded on Saturday and were initially believed to originate from the ARA San Juan. But on Monday, officials said the radio calls did not come from the missing sub. But on Monday, officials said the radio calls did not come from the missing sub.
- The search party consists of 11 ships and planes from multiple nations, including Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Peru, the United States, and the UK.
- Argentina’s navy on Monday picked up what were thought to be noises from the missing submarine. The sonar systems of two ships detected noises sounding like tools being banged against the hull of a submarine, according to a senior US Navy official familiar with the Navy’s assistance in the search for the vessel. However, the sound turned out not to be from the sub
- Weather is also a factor in the search. “Currently a powerful low-pressure system is causing wind gusts in excess of 70 kph (around 45 mph) and churning up the South Atlantic Ocean with swells equivalent to a two-story building. This weather will hamper the search efforts for at least the next 48 hours,” CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.