The US Navy and NASA are helping Argentina find a missing submarine

The ARA San Juan submarine.

caption
The ARA San Juan submarine.
source
Martin Otero, Naval Base Mar del Plata/Wikimedia Commons

  • The Argentinian Navy lost communication from its submarine, the ARA San Juan, early on Wednesday.
  • NASA has been helping to find the submarine from the sky, and now the US Navy is sending undersea support.
  • The Argentine defense ministry thinks the missing crew members tried to make several satellite calls on Saturday.

An Argentinian submarine is missing at sea.

The ARA San Juan, with 44 crew members on board, disappeared on Wednesday, about 270 miles off the southern tip of South America.

NASA has been trying to help find the 216-foot sub from the sky. And now the US Navy is sending support to locate and rescue the ship from the sea.

The US Southern Command said Sunday morning it’s sending a Submarine Rescue Chamber, designed during WWII, which can reach a submarine submerged up to 850 feet, and bring up to six people at a time back to the surface. A Pressurized Rescue Module, which can rescue up to 16 people at a time, and a Remotely Operated Vehicle are also on their way.

On Saturday, the missing crewmembers tried to make seven satellite calls, Argentine defense minister Oscar Aguad said. But stormy weather in the southern Atlantic likely blocked the calls from going through.

Argentine navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said the crew should have enough food and water aboard, in order to wait out the choppy seas and 20-foot waves until they are found, according to Reuters.

The working theory is that an electrical outage knocked out the ship’s communications. Submarines are supposed to surface if that happens.

The families of the crewmembers are anxiously awaiting news of the missing submarine.

“Yesterday’s news was something of a respite for us, to know that there is life,” Claudio Rodriguez, whose brother is on the San Juan, told local TV channel A24 Sunday morning.