Argentine President Declares Mourning Following Location of San Juan Submarine

Clay Curtis
November 19, 2018

Argentina gave up hope of finding survivors after an intense search aided by 18 countries, but the navy continued searching for the vessel.

It was found some 800 meters (2,625 feet) below the ocean's surface by a marine tracking contractor Ocean Infinity.

The ARA San Juan was lost at sea.

"We do know they can get it out because Ocean Infinity told us they can, that they have equipment, " said Luis Antonio Niz, father of crew member Luis Niz.

The statement said a remote-operated American ship that was hired for the search effort made "positive identification" of the downed submarine.

The San Juan had been returning to base at Mar del Plata when the navy lost contact as it passed the San Jorge Gulf, a large bay-shaped inlet about 500 miles (800km) northwest of The Falkland Islands.

Aguad could not say if the submarine could be recovered, but said the government did not have the means to extract the submarine.

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Rain was forecast for midweek, which could help firefighters but also complicate the challenging search for remains. Five more sets of remains were found Saturday, Butte County Sheriff and Coroner Kory Honea said.

The navy lost contact with the San Juan on November 15 past year, about 450 kilometres (280 miles) from the Argentine coast while it travelled northward from the country's southern tip.

"It imploded two hours after its last communication", the Argentine defence ministry said yesterday.

But Yolanda Mendiola, the mother of crewman Leandro Cisneros, said: "We are with the other relatives".

On the anniversary Thursday, Argentina President Mauricio Macri said the families of the submariners should not feel alone and delivered an "absolute and non-negotiable commitment" to find "the truth".

The search for the submarine prompted protests by family members of the men on board, and a shakeup of Argentina's military, including the dismissal of its top commander.

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. It had set out in September on the latest attempt to find the San Juan, whose disappearance cost the navy's top officer his job.

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. The US seabed intelligence company is known for conducting the search operation for the missing MH370 Malaysian airliner.

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