The Submarine Was Found 3K Feet Down. That's a Problem

Argentina says it doesn't have the means to raise it
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2018 8:49 AM CST
After Lost Sub Found, a Seemingly Impossible Demand
In this undated file photo provided by the Argentina Navy shows an ARA San Juan, a German-built diesel-electric vessel, near Buenos Aires, Argentina.   (Argentina Navy via AP File)

(Newser) – "I'm not going anywhere until they bring the submarine to shore. We know it can be done, but it's up to the government to decide it wants to do it." So says an Argentine man whose son was one of 44 crewmen aboard the ARA San Juan, which vanished deep in the Atlantic a year ago. After Saturday's announcement that the sub has been found by the American company Ocean Infinity off the Valdes Peninsula, a clamor from the family members of those aboard has followed, reports the New York Times. Their demand: Raise the sub. But whether that is feasible is still unknown, and the Times provides quotes to that end.

"Argentina does not have the technical means to surface the submarine and, there is unlikely to be anything in the world to bring from 900 meters deep a mass that weighs 2,300 tons," it quotes Defense Minister Oscar Aguad as saying. A navy expert adds that "it presupposes a feat of engineering," could take years just to plan for, and could be "prohibitively expensive." The depth—the sub is nearly 3,000 feet down—is a major complicating factor, as are its distance from the coast and the type of seabed it sits upon, per the AP. And then there's the condition of the sub. The BBC quotes a Navy commander as saying the submarine imploded and that its wreckage is strewn about an area measuring roughly 230 feet. He described the hull as "totally deformed, collapsed." (Read more on the find here.)

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