The Argentine missing submarine ARA San Juan made eight phone calls from its satellite phone in the hours leading up to its disappearance on November 15, Infobae reported this noon. The website published a photo of the record from the company that audits the satellite phone line that the crew from the vessel used – a company called Tenacom – showing that eight calls were made between 01:11 AM and 07:36 AM.
According to the Navy, the last call made by the submarine before it went missing notified of an entry of water through its snorkel. Even though the Navy indicated that the issue had been solved, the possibility the water that had entered caused critical damage to the submarine’s batteries is still the main hypothesis about the cause of its disappearance. In order to corroborate this, it is key for the search operation to at least locate the submarine on the seabed and observe its current condition.
When asked about this during his daily press briefing, Navy spokesperson Enrique Balbi confirmed the existence of the calls – which had not been disclosed – but argued that it was the normal thing to do. “Ever since the incident, the commander began communications. In one of those calls, for example, he requested the ship’s patrol days be reduced to make it quicker to the port of Mar del Plata,” Balbi said.
Balbi said later during the conference that the search operation today will try to identify an “object” that was spotted at a depth of 950 meters. Overall, the operation has detected six objects in the search area’s seabed, but has already ruled out three of them as the missing submarine. The other two objects that have not yet been checked are at a depth of 700 and 800 meters each.