What Happened To Argentina's Missing Military Submarine? Potential Distress Signals Detected

Distress calls bring hope to search for missing Argentina sub

A second plane of the United States Navy, the P-8A Poseidon, will be sent this Sunday to Bahía Blanca, Argentina, where it will join a frantic worldwide search of a missing submarine from Argentina's Navy "ARA San Juan", which disappeared with 44 crew members on board last Wednesday in the middle of a strong storm in the Southern Atlantic ocean.

A specialized U.S. Navy rescue team has joined the search for the ARA San Juan, an Argentine submarine with 44 crew aboard that stopped communicating with the military in Buenos Aires last week.

Another official said earlier that the submarine reported a battery failure and was returning to base when it went missing Wednesday and lost contact with authorities.

A US Navy P-8A Poseidon plane was immediately dispatched to the site where the noises were detected by two Argentine ships.

In the message, the sub's captain reportedly said he was heading towards Mar del Plata with all 44 crew members in flawless health.

Naval commander Gabriel Galeazzi told reporters the submarine had surfaced and reported an electrical malfunction before it disappeared 432 kilometres off the coast. Five psychologists and a psychiatrist have been sent to the base to support them.

The government on Sunday said it could not confirm that the attempts had come from the ARA San Juan.

The sonar systems of the 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 Argentine vessel.

More than a dozen worldwide vessels and aircraft have joined the search, which has been hindered by stormy weather that has caused waves up to 20 feet (6 meters).

"We don't know anything".

"We will do what is necessary to find the submarine as soon as possible", Argentine President Mauricio Macri wrote on Twitter.

Search efforts meanwhile have been hampered by inclement weather, including a powerful storm that has whipped up waves reaching seven meters (23 feet) in height. Words written on the flag read "Argentina, be strong".

Stormy conditions off the coast of Patagonia were hampering efforts to locate a missing Argentine submarine with 44 crew members.

Its last contact with the navy command was on Wednesday morning.

It was unclear Sunday whether authorities could use the signal attempts to determine the sub's location.

The submarine had been returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia, near the southernmost tip of South America, to Mar del Plata.

One Naval P-8 arrived in Argentina over the weekend, and another is arriving today. Previously, the modern diesel-electric sub, built in 1983 and put into service in 1985, went through a mid-life overhaul, completed in 2013.

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