Navy spokesperson Enrique Balbi informed today that despite the large search operation aimed at finding the ARA San Juan submarine, which went missing 12 days ago, all efforts to find the vessel have so far proved unfruitful.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t detected or located the submarine,” said Balbi, who by the end of the conference admitted the situation is “extreme.” In their attempt to find the vessel, the spokesperson then explained the search area, which has been narrowed to 74 square kilometers, divided in six sections, with one ship in each sub-area tasked with mapping the bottom of the sea.
Moreover, he informed other ships from other countries’ navies have joined the search efforts and are on their way to the aforementioned search area. Norwegian ship Sophie Siem, which is carrying a mini-submarine that belongs to the American navy, was able to set sail today towards the search area. The mini-submarine is capable of submerging 600 meters deep with room to rescue 16 people at a time. It was loaded with 44 life jackets, as well as food and water, in the remote case the crew members are found alive.
Other ships that joined the search are carrying autonomous sub-aquatic vehicles which are able to map the bottom of the sea at depths the vessels already operating in the area are not. One of them is the “Yantar”, which belongs to the Russian navy. Officially known as a “special, multi-purpose ship,” it can comb areas that are up to 6,000 meters deep.
In another passage of the press conference, Balbi was consulted about statements made by Deputy Elisa “Lilita” Carrió, who during the weekend said in a TV show the fate of the crew members was already sealed: “The event is irreversible. I will say what the government cannot. It is likely the 44 are deceased,” said Carrió. However, Balbi denied the navy reached that conclusion. “The fact that it has been 11 days does not mean they can’t be living under extreme conditions,” he said. Unless there is breaking news, the Navy’s next official update will take place tomorrow at 10 AM.