Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Discovered San Juan Sub Deformed With Signs of Explosion - Argentine Navy Chief

Discovered San Juan Sub Deformed With Signs of Explosion - Argentine Navy Chief

A year after the disappearance of the Argentine Navy's submarine ARA San Juan, the crew of HMS Clyde, one of the British ships that participated in the search operation, yesterday showed their respects in an act of remembrance from the Falkland Islands.

Argentina has one of the lowest per capita military budgets in the region, and some family members of the missing crew have blamed the government for underfunding the Navy, Reuters wrote.

Argentina's defence minister, Oscar Aguad, said at a press conference that the navy doesn't have submersibles with "modern technology" capable of "verifying the seabed" to extract the ARA San Juan, which was found 800 metres (2,625 feet) deep in waters off the Valdes peninsula in Argentine Patagonia.

The condition of the vessel and whether it will be possible to recover it is not yet clear.

"No, we don't have the means to go down to that depth of the sea", he said, adding that authorities "do not have the equipment to bring the submarine out from such a depth".

Last year, navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters that water had entered the submarine's snorkel, which can be used to take in air from above the surface when the submarine is submerged.

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Military ships will be deployed to the scene - hundreds of miles from its last reported position - to obtain high-res images and information from the submarine, which had 44 crew members on-board at the time it disappeared.

The vessel disappeared 270 miles off the Argentine coast last November.

Naval officials said global organizations helping to search for the missing vessel a year ago detected a noise that could have been the submarine imploding, just two hours after its last contact.

Oliver Plunkett, Ocean Infinity's CEO, said in a statement he hoped the discovery of the submarine would lead to "questions being answered and lessons learned" that would prevent a similar incident in the future.

The Seabed Constructor - a vessel owned by USA search firm Ocean Infinity, which set out in September on the latest attempt to find the San Juan - found the missing sub. An investigation found naval officials allowed the submarine to go on the extended mission after being warned the vessel had mechanical problems, The Washington Post reported.

The German-built diesel-electric TR-1700 class submarine dated back to the mid-1980s and had been most recently refurbished in 2014, when it was cut in half as its engines and batteries were replaced. Below that, it would buckle under pressure.

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