Last message from missing Argentinian submarine reported leak and battery short-circuit

Argentina faces 'hope and hopelessness' in submarine search

Search for Missing Argentine Sub Continues as Crew's Families Abandon Vigil

The final message from the San Juan, issued at 7:30 that morning and obtained by Clarin, also says that there had been "the beginning of a fire" in the battery area.

The sub would have had the capacity to travel with just one set of batteries, Balbi said, but would have done so at a slower speed, to reduce the number of times it would need to snorkel.

The search for the San Juan has so far failed to yield its location.

There was no evidence of any attack and no information on the cause of the noise, Balbi said last week.

The crew "had to isolate the battery and continue to sail underwater toward Mar del Plata [naval base], using another battery in the stern", Capt Balbi said.

He said seven ships were braving 3-meter (3.28-yard) waves to map the ocean floor where the San Juan was most likely to be found.

The navy said last week that, before the submarine went missing, the captain reported an electrical problem in a battery compartment and the vessel was ordered to return to its base in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, about 250 miles southeast of Buenos Aires.

Mauricio Macri Argentine president
Mauricio Macri Argentine president

"The disappearance and current search for the ARA San Juan submarine has touched all Argentines", he said, according to Sky News.

The final contact from the vessel, which has 44 crew members on board, reportedly said seawater had entered the ventilation system, causing a battery on the diesel-electric submarine to short-circuit. "Bow batteries out of service". Now submerged and operating with divided circuit. "Will keep you informed".

Several countries are participating in the search for the submarine, including the United States and Russian Federation.

The U.S. Navy said it had deployed unmanned underwater vehicles, or "mini-subs" equipped with sonar, to join the search. But Argentina's navy denies that. The captain later reported that the fire had been contained, but there has still been no word from the crew members.

Some are still holding out hope that the submarine may not have imploded and that its crew were able to replenish the sub's oxygen supply, but an increasing number fear their loved ones are dead.

"There is no way they are alive".

A ship sailing the Argentine Sea, seen from the P8-A Poseidon aircraft of the U.S. Navy Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11 assisting in the search for the missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan, after taking off from the Bahia Blanca naval base in Buenos Aires Province on November 26, 2017.

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