The following is an excerpt from Marcos Brindicci and Maximiliano Rizzi | November 18, 2017 |
MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina/BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Hopes that 44 crew members of a missing Argentine navy submarine may be alive rose when the defense ministry said the vessel likely tried to communicate via satellite on Saturday as a search mission was underway in the stormy South Atlantic.
The ministry said seven failed “satellite calls” that it believes came from the ARA San Juan submarine were detected in a likely sign the crew was trying to reestablish contact.
The signals, in the late morning and early afternoon, lasted between four and 36 seconds, the ministry said. Argentina is working on tracing the location with an unnamed U.S. company specialized in satellite communications, the ministry said.
It was not immediately clear what type of calls the vessel may have tried to make but submarines that are stricken underwater can float a location beacon known as an EPIRB to the surface that can then emit emergency signals via satellite.
Whipping winds and more than 20-foot waves in the South Atlantic hindered the international search for the submarine.
The last confirmed location of the German-built ARA San Juan was 432 km (268 miles) off Argentina’s southern Atlantic coast early on Wednesday.
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