Buenos Aires, Argentina—An Argentine submarine is missing at sea.

ARA San Juan (S-42) was last heard off two days ago.  Since then, the 44-crew submarine has failed to respond to the Argentine military’s repeated communication attempts.

“We are investigating the reasons for the lack of communication. If there was a communication problem, the boat would have to come to the surface,” said Enrique Balbi, a navy spokesperson.

The submarine was heading from the city of Ushuaia, southern Argentina, to her home port in Mar del Plata, 1,800-miles to the north.

The search-and-rescue units are concentrating their efforts in the San Jorge Gulf, in the southern Atlantic coast of Argentina.

They include Argentine navy destroyers, corvettes, and S-2E Tracker surveillance aircraft.

UPDATE: ARA San Juan likely sunk. Search efforts continue

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A NASA P-3 Orion anti-submarine and surveillance plane stationed in Patagonia has joined the rescue efforts.

The United Kingdom has offered the Argentine military the assistance of an RAF C-130 from the nearby Falkland Islands.

ARA San Juan is a TR-1700 class conventional submarine. It has a diesel-electric propulsion system. It was built in Germany and was commissioned in 1985.

Meanwhile, the US Navy Undersea Rescue Command officials have said that they are preparing their specialized underwater rescue capabilities in case the Argentine government requests official US support.

 

Featured image courtesy of Twitter.