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Missing Argentine submarine found deep in Atlantic, one year after disappearance

Rogue Valley

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Missing Argentine submarine found deep in Atlantic, one year after disappearance

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ARA San Juan

11/17/118
Argentina's navy says searchers deep in the Atlantic have found the missing submarine ARA San Juan, which disappeared with 44 crewmen aboard almost a year ago to the date. The vessel was discovered more than 900 metres below the ocean surface in a canyon on the ocean floor with its tail partially "imploded", Argentina's Defence Minister Carlos Aguad said. The navy said a "positive identification" had been made by a remote-operated submersible from the American ship Ocean Infinity, which was hired for the latest search for the missing vessel. It had earlier tweeted that it was investigating a "point of interest" where a 60-metre-long object had been detected. "We have found them," Jorge Villarreal, father of one crew member told local radio. "Now we are going to search for the truth. For us this is the start of a new chapter." The discovery was announced just two days after families of the missing sailors held a commemoration one year after the sub disappeared on November 15, 2017. On Thursday, on the anniversary of the disappearance, President Mauricio Macri said the families of the submariners should not feel alone and delivered an "absolute and non-negotiable commitment" to find "the truth". Mr Macri promised a full investigation after the submarine was lost. Federal police raided naval bases and other buildings last January as part of the probe, soon after the Government dismissed the head of the navy.

The San Juan was returning to its base in the coastal city of Mar del Plata when contact was lost. The navy has previously said the captain reported on November 15 that water entered the snorkel and caused one of the sub's batteries to short-circuit. The captain later communicated that it had been contained. Some hours later, an explosion was detected near the time and place where the San Juan was last heard from. The navy said the blast could have been caused by a "concentration of hydrogen" triggered by the battery problem reported by the captain. Argentina gave up hope of finding survivors after an intense search aided by 18 countries, but the navy has continued searching for the vessel. The German-built diesel-electric TR-1700 class submarine was commissioned in the mid-1980s and was most recently refitted between 2008 and 2014. During the $US12 million ($16 million) retrofitting, the vessel was cut in half and had its engines and batteries replaced. Experts said refits could be difficult because they involve integrating systems produced by different manufacturers, and even the tiniest mistake during the cutting phase can put the safety of the ship and crew at risk.

The resting place is ~LAT 44° 49.1' S / LONG. 059° 06.1'W

May the ARA San Juan and her complement rest in peace.
 

Rexedgar

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Hope the end was swift, RIP.
 

ecofarm

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I don't know how people get on subs.
 

eohrnberger

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Hope the end was swift, RIP.

If implosion due to excessive depth, it was. Such things are over in an instant.
The time it took to get to implosion depth . . . that takes a bit of time, I guess, but not too much.
The crew knew what their fate was going to be while they were going down.
 

Xelor

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  • RIP
  • I hope it's too deep for some "rogue" band of "wackos" to retrieve it, refurbish it and then go around causing all sorts of trouble.
 

ecofarm

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ecofarm

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The idea of driving around in my coffin is unpleasant no matter what the vehicle.

Worse when it's relying on a lot of people. I don't know how subs work, but I'd worry about Private Joe pushing the wrong button. I've seen Private Joe do a lot of stupid crap. I wouldn't rely on one let alone a dozen.
 

Rexedgar

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The idea of driving around in my coffin is unpleasant no matter what the vehicle.

I have always had an interest in the German WW2 U Boat Service. Their losses were something in the line of 75%. The Argentine boat had a crew of 44 (from the article); that’s comparable to WW2 crew. The latest boats are said to be nothing like the old days, just cannot do without seeing the sun and sky, fresh air and other surface things for months on end.



Edit: to eco’s Point, there is a whole lot of training, I understand and there are wash-outs who cannot hang.
 

Hawkeye10

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It's about time. Some firm had hired on to look for it, under the terms of the deal they would have collected nothing had they found nothing. I love that confidence, it reminds me of 100% commission salesmen...something that my dad did.
 

Rexedgar

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Wondering how many minutes/seconds were they alive knowing that they were about to die is an uncomfortable place to be.

How un-Zen of you, H10. We are all counting the minutes/seconds..........
 

Hawkeye10

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How un-Zen of you, H10. We are all counting the minutes/seconds..........

Dying in a sub can be a really horrible way to go, which is why countries that are unwilling to operate subs correctly, countries like Argentina, should not operate subs.
 

Crosscheck

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I don't know how people get on subs.

I actually find them appealing. The newer subs we have now are incredible weapons.

Being part of a submarine crew does take someone special. Everyone of those crew members from the commanding officer to the cook has the knowledge to save that sub in case of fire or any other breakdown.


Plus I hear they get the best food in all the branches.
 

ecofarm

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I actually find them appealing. The newer subs we have now are incredible weapons.

Being part of a submarine crew does take someone special. Everyone of those crew members from the commanding officer to the cook has the knowledge to save that sub in case of fire or any other breakdown.


Plus I hear they get the best food in all the branches.

Different strokes for different folks. Seems crazy to me.
 

eohrnberger

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  • RIP
  • I hope it's too deep for some "rogue" band of "wackos" to retrieve it, refurbish it and then go around causing all sorts of trouble.

To raise that ship is next to impossible.
To make that ship seaworthy again is also next to impossible.

It'd be far cheaper to build one, or buy one from another nation and refurb that.
 

Hawkeye10

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Given the depth I dont see how we are ever going to find out what the fault was, whether it was the mostly untrained crew or a problem with the refit.

Argentina has no intention of trying to raise the wreck...because of money....lack of spending being the likely root cause of the disaster as well.

So for as closure goes this rather sucks.




https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-46248970
 
Last edited:

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I rode subs twice for a day and a half each.

The Greenling and the Trepang while observing the emergency diesel snorkeling & shut off systems.

Not a good place for a 6'3" sailor to be.
 

Hawkeye10

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An “operation error” related to a ventilation valve, called 'Eco-19,' could explain the mystery of the tragedy that befell the ARA San Juan, the Argentine submarine that disappeared almost a year ago with 44-crew members on board. The new details emerged in a report currently being prepared by a commission of experts based inside the Argentine Defense Ministry.

An error in the internal ventilation valve could have caused the entry of seawater into the submarine's batteries, leading to a short-circuit and the subsequent production of hydrogen, sources told the Buenos Aires Perfil newspaper.
New hypothesis on the tragedy that befell Argentina's sub ARA San Juan ? MercoPress

The problem with this theory is that while it would explain water getting on the battery the first time it would not explain continuing to take on water after they dove for the last time, because the position of the switches would have been at the top of their brains. This would argue that the switches are right but that the system did not work correctly, which would have been due to a low quality refit...something that we already know took place.
 

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I actually find them appealing. The newer subs we have now are incredible weapons.

Being part of a submarine crew does take someone special. Everyone of those crew members from the commanding officer to the cook has the knowledge to save that sub in case of fire or any other breakdown.

Plus I hear they get the best food in all the branches.
I have worked with a couple former submariners, and they confirm the food is the best in the Navy.
 

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New hypothesis on the tragedy that befell Argentina's sub ARA San Juan ? MercoPress

The problem with this theory is that while it would explain water getting on the battery the first time it would not explain continuing to take on water after they dove for the last time, because the position of the switches would have been at the top of their brains. This would argue that the switches are right but that the system did not work correctly, which would have been due to a low quality refit...something that we already know took place.

The cause will never be positively known.

Just like the Thresher, where we are still debating the actual cause.
 

Hawkeye10

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The cause will never be positively known.

Just like the Thresher, where we are still debating the actual cause.

Now ya, but considering that there is another sub doing the exact same refit, and considering that apparently Argentina intends to continue to operate subs, finding out what went wrong would have been nice.
 
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