Satellite calls yield no clues on missing Argentine submarine

Eloi Lecerf
Novembro 20, 2017

A multi-national group urgently searching for a submarine that has been missing for several days which has 44 people on board hopes that signals sent to a satellite will help them locate its whereabouts.

But Argentine authorities cautioned that it has not been confirmed the calls came from the submarine, though that is the working hypothesis.

The calls revived hopes the submarine had surfaced, but a powerful storm whipped up waves reaching seven metres in height has made geolocation difficult, officials said.

Complicating matters: strong winds and high waves that were battering search-and-rescue ships.

U.S. satellite communications company Iridium Communications Inc (IRDM.O), which was brought in to help analyse the calls, said they did not originate with its device aboard the vessel and may have been from another satellite communications company's equipment. Protocol calls for submarines to surface if communication is lost. She told a TV interviewer that she spoke to her son minutes before the submarine left Ushuaia on Monday.

All terrestrial communications stations along the Argentine coast were ordered to search for communications and listen to all possible frequencies of transmission of the submarine in order to make a contact.

The Argentine navy says the missing diesel-electric submarine has enough oxygen, food and water to last at least two weeks.

María Morales mother of submarinist Luis Garcia accompnied by an unidentified man at the entrance of Argentina's Navy base in Mar del Plata south of Buenos Aires

"We do not have clear evidence that (the calls) have come from that unit", said Admiral Gabriel Gonzalez, chief of the Mar del Plata Naval Base.

"Our thoughts remain with the crew of the ARA San Juan and their families at this time", said HMS Protector Cmdr.

The last regular communication with the San Juan was early on Wednesday when the submarine was 430 kilometres off Argentina's coast in the Gulf of San Jorge.

It was unclear Sunday whether authorities could use the signal attempts to determine the sub's location.

"We share their concern and that of all Argentines", President Mauricio Macri tweeted, according to Reuters. The ARA San Juan, a military submarine, gave its last location Wednesday when it was in the southern Argentine Sea.

The 213-foot long submarine was built in 1983 by Germany's Thyssen Nordseewerke.

'Once in Bahia Blanca, they will join the ongoing international search for the Argentinean Navy vessel and its crew, as requested by the government of Argentina'. However, it underwent a seven-year refit between 2007 and 2014 to extend its life by a further 30 years. The Russians have said the Kursk used an outdated and unstable hydrogen peroxide propellant.

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Segóvia pregou uma nova relação da PF com o MPF (Ministério Público Federal). O novo chefe da PF disse que "buscará o combate incansável à corrupção".

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