A storm on Sunday has complicated efforts to find an Argentine submarine missing in the South Atlantic. The ARA San Juan, has 44 crew members on board and has been missing since Wednesday.
Waves of up to 8 metres and winds reaching 40 knots have hindered the search by sea. Now Argentina’s navy says it can’t confirm if seven brief satellite calls received a day earlier were from the lost submarine.
“In regard to these emissions, we are carefully analyzing the possibility of confirming that they came from the San Juan submarine,” Gabriel Gonzalez, Rear Admiral of the Argentine Navy, told reporters. “We do not have clear evidence that (the calls) have come from that unit.”
“Given the meteorological conditions in the area of operations,” Gonzalez said, “the effort is fundamentally based on the aerial resource because the sea conditions make it difficult to operate the surface units.”
The submarine was some 432 km off Argentina’s coast when its location was last known early on Wednesday.
Boats equipped with radar detection probes have been following the San Juan’s path but have yet to find any sign of the submarine on the ocean floor.
The navy said an electrical outage might have downed its communications.
At the Mar del Plata naval base, where the San Juan was schedule to arrive on Sunday, locals hung messages of support for the sailors and their families: “Strength for Argentina. We trust in God. We are waiting for you.”