Rescue mission for missing submarine still ongoing

Rescue mission for missing submarine still ongoing

The vessel, with 44 submariners on board, reported an electrical problem and was headed back to its base in the port of Mar del Plata when it disappeared last Wednesday, the navy said.

Gonzalez also confirmed that the U.S. Navy's Undersea Rescue Command had been deployed to the search area, along with aircraft from Argentina, Brazil and the U.S., and 11 surface vessels.

"It does not correspond to a pattern that would be consistent with bangs against the walls in morse code", Balbi told reporters in Buenos Aires.

Brief hope is followed by disappointment, as sounds detected from about 200 meters under the sea, . during search operations for a missing Argentine submarine were found to not come from the missing vessel. The last time the navy heard from the doomed submarine took place about 275 miles off the San Jorge Gulf situated in southern Argentina.

Specialist underwater rescue equipment has arrived in Argentina from the United States and more boats and planes have also joined the search, which has been hampered by heavy winds and high waves.

The sub was journeying from the extreme southern port of Ushuaia to the coastal city of Mar del Plata.

One US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft is already in Argentina, where it joined the NASA P-3 research aircraft supporting the search. Morales and other relatives of crew members have been gathered at a naval base in Mar del Plata, where authorities are coordinating the search and rescue operation.

President Mauricio Macri assured families of the missing sailors that the search would continue.

"In these hard times, I would not like to start without sending all my affection and support to the crew's relatives", Macri said.

Argentine submarine ARA San Juan has been missing for nearly a week now and still no sign of its whereabouts. "We continue to deploy all available national and worldwide resources", to find the submarine, Macri tweeted.

On Saturday, seven reported communication attempts were initially believed to originate from the San Juan - but on Monday officials said the radio calls had not come from the missing sub.

If the sub is bobbing adrift on the surface and the hatch is open, it will have an available air supply and enough food for about 30 days, he said. It was built in Germany and in 2008 was brought to Argentina for maintenance which included the replacement of the electric propeller engines together with the four diesel engines, Reuters reports.

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