Missing Argentine submarine located year after disappearance

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 17, 2018

The Argentine navy said in the following days thatthe vessel's captain had reported a short-circuit in the vessel's battery system shortly before the last known contact.

On Thursday, North American survey firm Ocean Infinity was just 48 hours away from giving up its search when it found an unknown object on the ocean floor.

There has been "positive identification of the ARA San Juan", 800 meters (yards) deep by the Ocean Infinity, a statement from the navy said, referring to a United States company involved in the search.

The Ocean Infinity ship "decided to do a new search and, thanks to God, it was able to find the zone", navy spokesman Rodolfo Ramallo told Todo Noticias TV. "They say that our youngsters are inside", said Yolanda Mendiola, the mother of crewman Leandro Cisneros, 28.

"Now another chapter opens".

'We are all destroyed here'.

The ARA San Juan disappeared on November 15 previous year off Argentina's coast, about midway on its journey from Ushuaia in the country's south to its northern port of Mar del Plata.

The discovery comes just two days after families of the 44 missing sailors held a ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of the day the vessel sunk on November 15, 2017.

It was found by a remotely operated submersible belonging to the USA ship Ocean Infinity, a specialist marine survey vessel involved in the hunt for MH370.

Argentina's president Mauricio Macri said the families of the submariners should not feel alone and delivered an "absolute and non-negotiable commitment" to find "the truth".

Naval bases and other buildings were raided by police last January as part of the probe, soon after the government had sacked the head of the navy.

It was only several days into the tragedy that navy officials acknowledged the old, German-built submarine had reported a problem with its batteries in its final communication of November 15. The navy said the blast could have been caused by a "concentration of hydrogen" triggered by the battery problem reported by the captain.

Before it departed for its mission, Luis Tagliapietra, whose son Alejandro was a lieutenant on the San Juan, described it as 'the last opportunity to find them'.

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