Argentine Navy Pares Back Hopes of Finding Missing Submarine

Argentine Navy Pares Back Hopes of Finding Missing Submarine

“We continue to pray and wait!!” Marcela Moyano, whose husband, Hernán Rodríguez, is on the submarine, wrote on Facebook. “A little bit confusing, no??? They won’t take me out of here until I see you get down from the submarine, my love.”


Adm. Gabriel González, the chief of the base that was the submarine’s destination, addressed members of the news media in Mar del Plata on Sunday.

Marina Devo/Associated Press

The Navy has two psychologists, one psychiatrist and two doctors at the base for the family members, said a Navy official who was not authorized to speak on the record.

International participation in the search grew on Sunday even as the Navy said that most of the efforts to find the submarine would be by air because of the bad weather.

The United States Navy deployed two “independent rescue assets” from its Undersea Rescue Command, which is based in San Diego. This is in addition to the Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft and the NASA P-3 research aircraft that had already joined the search.

The British military is also providing assistance, which is particularly notable given the war Britain and Argentina fought in 1982 over the Falkland Islands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas and has long claimed as its sovereign territory.

A British Navy ship has started to trace the submarine’s route from the moment of last contact until its intended destination. The navy also deployed its “specialist Submarine Parachute Assistance Group,” and another patrol vessel — the HMS Clyde — is scheduled to join the search from the Falkland Islands. A C-130 aircraft that is also based in the Falklands “remain stood by to assist with the aerial search efforts,” the navy said.

The NATO Submarine Rescue System has joined the search, as have planes and ships from Brazil and Chile, according to Argentina’s Navy. Ships owned by private companies, including France’s oil company Total, are also scheduled to join the efforts.

Pope Francis, who is Argentine, mentioned the missing submarine during his Sunday prayer, the second day in a row he publicly referred to the San Juan crew.

The submarine was 240 nautical miles from the coast when it last communicated with the base.

The San Juan was traveling from the Patagonian city of Ushuaia to Mar del Plata, conducting routine security patrol and military training exercises. Argentina has three submarines — one of which is under repair — and they are frequently deployed to combat illegal fishing.

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