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Argentine submarine wreck found one year after disappearance

19th November 2018 - 12:15 GMT | by ​Agence France-Presse in Mar del Plata


The crushed wreckage of an Argentine submarine has been located one year after it vanished into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean with 44 crew members, in the country's worst naval disaster in decades.

There has been ‘positive identification of the ARA San Juan,’ at a depth of more than 800m (2,600ft), the navy tweeted, confirming the vessel had imploded.

Experts say raising the submarine would be an enormous undertaking costing a billion dollars or more. Defence Minister Oscar Aguad said Argentina had ‘no means’ to do so.

The Seabed Constructor, a ship owned by US search firm Ocean Infinity, made the discovery 16 November, one day after the first anniversary of the disappearance of the San Juan.

The ship had set out in September in the latest attempt to find the San Juan, whose disappearance cost the Argentinian Navy's top officer his job.

The navy lost contact with the submarine on 15 November, 2017, about 450km from the coast while it was travelling northward from Ushuaia, at Argentina's southern tip.

Adml Jose Villan, the navy's new top commander, said that the rough terrain on the ocean floor made it difficult for search vessels, which had already trawled the site, to find the sub.

Pieces that were 11m, 13m and 30m long were spotted in a ‘moon-like zone with craters and canyons,’ said Capt Enrique Balbi, adding that the hull had been ‘crushed inwards.’

Aguad met earlier with family members to show photos taken by an underwater robot. They showed a propeller, the sub's bow with torpedo-launching tubes, and an upper section of the vessel lying on the ocean floor.

​Agence France-Presse


​Agence France-Presse


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