'We Are Praying': Argentinian Submarine Missing 2 Days

NASA joins search for submarine with at least 44 crew members on board
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2017 6:33 PM CST
NASA Joins Search for Missing Argentinian Submarine
This undated photo provided by the Argentina Navy shows an ARA San Juan, a German-built diesel-electric vessel, near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina's Navy said Friday it has lost contact with its ARA San Juan submarine off the country's southern coast.   (Argentina Navy via AP)

Chile, Britain, and even NASA have joined the search for a submarine that disappeared two days ago with at least 44 people on board. The submarine—which the Guardian notes is one of three in the Argentinian navy—was traveling from the south of Argentina to its base hundreds of miles to the north. CNN reports it was last heard from Wednesday while in the San Jorge Gulf, about 268 miles off the east coast of Argentina in the Atlantic Ocean. Officials are denying an emergency or that the submarine is lost. “The latest official and reliable information is that the submarine has not yet been found," navy spokesperson Enrique Balbi says. "It’s not that it’s lost: to be lost you’d have to look for it—and not find it." The submarine has not activated its emergency beacon.

Balbi says the submarine is likely to continue its journey in the event of a communication problem, Reuters reports. He adds: "The submarine knows that if it does not have communication with land for this long, it has to surface." So far a search from both air and sea has been fruitless. NASA has committed a P-3 Orion aircraft, which a spokesperson says was "already in Argentina on a scientific mission," to the search. The Argentinian navy denies reports of a fire on board the submarine, which was bought from Germany in 1985, and says it has plenty of food and oxygen. “We are praying to God and asking that all Argentinians help us to pray ... that they can be found,” the brother of one crew member says. The submarine's crew includes Argentina's first female submarine officer. (More Argentina stories.)

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