The Argentinian Navy is investigating a loud noise which was heard when the submarine ARA San Juan went missing last week

23 November

The Argentine Navy has confirmed they are investigating a loud noise which was detected last week shortly after submarine ARA San Juan went missing.

It is unclear if the noise was an explosion, but an expert referred to it as a “hydro-acoustic anomaly”.

Navy Captain Enrique Balbi said that concerns about the submarine and its 44 crew were growing, especially as it’s now been missing for a week, and the vessel only had seven days worth of oxygen left.

An international fleet, including Royal Navy ships, have been helping the Argentine Navy in the search for the missing submarine.


20 November

Following a request for assistance by the government of Argentina, the Royal Navy HMS Protector has been deployed to help search an area in the South Atlantic Ocean to find and rescue an Argentine submarine reported missing.

The Royal Navy joins an international fleet of craft and patrol planes working in dangerous weather conditions to try and locate submarine ARA San Juan and its crew of 44, who have been missing for five days.

Today the Argentinian Navy has reported detecting sounds coming from the bottom of the ocean, that could be coming from the submarine.

Enrique Balbi, a spokesman from the Argentine Navy said: “The noise is permanent and repetitive. We have to wait, analyze and process the information,”.

Earlier another spokesperson for the Navy, Gabriel Galeazzi, said that the crew of the submarine reported a fault last Wednesday (15 November) and the captain was told to head to Mar de Plata, but after that communication with the vessel was lost.

The crew had enough supplies to last for three months, but only a week worth of oxygen, after which they would have to resurface to replenish the air supply.

The UK has also deployed the Royal Navy’s specialist Submarine Parachute Assistance Group and the Falklands Islands patrol vessel HMS Clyde to assist with the search.

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The Commanding Officer of HMS Protector, Captain Angus Essenhigh, said: “Having arrived on station early this morning we are now assisting with the search and rescue efforts and my team on board are trained and equipped to deal with this task.

“They worked hard to ensure we were ready to begin search operations as soon as we arrived and we are now on task, using all the means at our disposal to try and locate the submarine.

“Our thoughts remain with the crew of the ARA San Juan and their families at this time.”

HMS Protector is the United Kingdom’s ice patrol ship, and as part of the scientific and oceanographic work she conducts is equipped with sonar equipment which can search beneath the waves.