Argentina’s lost San Juan submarine disappeared a year ago along with its 44 crew members. It is said that last year on 15 November 2017, it stopped communicating during a routine patrol in the south Atlantic coast 430 km off the country.
It was believed that the submarine had suffered an electrical malfunction while returning from its routine mission to Ushuaia near the southern tip of South America. After searching for several days without finding any traces of the submarine, it became a mystery and after 15 days on 30th November, the hopes of rescuing the crew member alive were abandoned.
On 16 November 2018, Argentina’s Navy reported that US-based Seabed Constructor had found San Juan Submarine through a remote-operated submersible in Valdes Peninsula in Argentina Pentagonia about 600 km from the Comodoro Rivadavia.
The Government hired the company and signed a contract with a US-based company after extreme demand of the victims’ relatives. The contract with Ocean Infinity guaranteed the company $7.5 million if it found the submarine. The company was hired in September 2017, and it already failed in its 60 days mission. It was scheduled to leave Argentina’s coast on November 15 as the company was ending their mission and preparing for their next mission.
What actually happened?
The member of the team was gathering the images they had taken in their sonar sweeps when he came through the data and found out something that has postponed their departure to inspect it more closely. To their amaze, they realized it was San Juan for which they were struggling for 2 months.
It is sad that the submarine which is lying in the depth of 907 meters in the sea water has crashed and broken into several pieces due to water pressure. Navy Commander Gabriel Attis said the hull was totally deformed and collapsed and its debris was scattered over an area of about 70m.
As soon as this news came forward the relatives of the crew members demanded fast recovery of the remains of their loved ones and an investigation into the sinking. On the other side, the government announced that it is a challenging mission and the government is unable to drag out the vessel. It is a very complex operation and also very expensive. Argentina lacks the means to raise the ill-fated vessel. The officials have mixed feelings. They are unaware whether human remains would be identified or not? When the submarine will be brought to the shores?
However, it is said that it is one of the most deadly and most mystifying maritime disasters of this modern era. The officials said they would release a report next week with more technical details about the fate of the submarine.