Argentina Navy: Missing Sub 'Had Called To Report Breakdown'

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A noise detected in the south Atlantic did not come from a missing Argentinian submarine with 44 crew members on board, navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said yesterday.

But experts ruled out the possibility the sounds had come from the vessel, which was on its way to the base in Mar del Plata when it last made contact.

But Mr Balbi said earlier on Monday that officials analysed the seven low-frequency satellite signals and determined they were not received from the submarine.

A US Navy submarine-detection aircraft, which had been deployed in the area where the sound occurred, recorded the noise and sent it to the search and rescue coordination centre at the naval base for further analysis, which then concluded that the noise did not bear any link with the missing submarine.

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A picture of the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan written in Spanish "Come on steel men".

There was hope that the crew was making the constant sound to draw the attention of potential rescuers. "Breakdowns are normal, they are reported all the time ..."

Specialist underwater rescue equipment has arrived in Argentina from the United States and more boats and planes have also joined the search, which has been hampered by heavy winds and high waves.

The U.S. Navy Southern Command said the SRC uses advanced technology capable of reaching depths of 850 feet and rescuing six people at a time. The Argentine navy tweeted video showing the intense weather conditions.

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The issue has since been confirmed by the Argentine navy to have been a battery failure, delivering another blow to families of crew members desperately waiting for news of loved ones.

However, the Navy spokesperson said that it is going to conduct a thorough search in that area, taking advantage of the two research vessels of the Navy and a Brazilian polar ship, so as to make sure that noise was really not from the missing submarine. Balbi said the sounds could be from ocean or marine life.

The U.S. Navy deployed its sailors after the government of Argentina asked for global assistance in the search.

The naval commander said that the submarine had been asked to cut short its mission, which was originally due to last until Monday, and go directly to Mar del Plata.

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