7 Brief Calls Didn't Come From Missing Sub's Phone
What we know about the San Juan thus far
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2017 6:19 AM CST
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Signs with messages in support of the crew of the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan hang from the fence at the Navel base in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Navy said Saturday the area being searched off the country's southern Atlantic coast has been doubled as concerns about the...   (AP Photo/Vicente Robles)
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(Newser) – A surge of optimism followed by something more grim: The seven brief satellite calls made Saturday that were suspected to have been made by a missing Argentine submarine may have originated elsewhere. The Argentine Navy on Sunday said its analysis was still underway but that it had no "clear evidence" the calls were placed from the sub, reports the New York Times, which notes the San Juan missed its scheduled arrival at its home port Sunday. A naval commander says the signals were so "intermittent and weak," per NBC News, that "they could not help determine a point on the map to help the search" for the vessel, which has 44 aboard. Further, the US satellite phone company Iridium says the Iridium phone that's within the vessel seems to have not been used since Wednesday.

Iridium has reportedly placed repeated calls to the sub's phone that haven't gotten through; Argentine officials haven't discussed whether additional satellite phones are available to the crew. And while seven countries are involved in the search via sea and air, that effort has been impeded by weather: waves hitting up to 22 feet, thunderstorms, and strong winds that NPR reports could last for two days. The Times looks at potential scenarios: If the sub sank due to, say, a fire that did not kill the crew, it says the oxygen would last "several" days; CNN reports a higher count of seven to 10 days of oxygen. That's assuming it sank on the continental shelf; if it went down in the far deeper parts of the Atlantic Ocean, the pressure could essentially crush the sub. If it's on the surface and manages to survive the storm, the crew would have 25 days of food and water.

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