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Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:04:32 +0000
(BUENOS AIRES) -- The Argentine Navy confirmed today that it has lost communication with one of its submarines.
According to the Navy, the submarine's last-known position in the area of operations was near the San Jorge Gulf, about 240 nautical miles from the country's southern shore. Communications were
reportedly lost Wednesday.
The missing watercraft -- the ARA San Juan -- is a German-built TR 1700 class diesel-electric submarine, the Navy said.
The Navy said that ships and planes were searching for the missing submarine, as well as land-based communications stations, which are listening to all possible frequencies of transmission in case
the vessel is trying to send a message.
The Submarine Force Command has been in touch with the relatives of the 44 on board to keep them informed of developments.
According to the Navy, a Turbo Tracker aircraft and a B-200 aircraft had made flights Thursday on Friday morning.
Both the naval destroyer ARA Sarandi with a helicopter on board and the corvette ARA Rosales had also been sent to the area. Additionally, the Navy said the ARA corvette Drummond was expected to
arrive and get in position today around 6 p.m. local time.
Steve Ganyard, an ABC News contributor and a former deputy assistant secretary of state, said the San Juan was almost 35 years old but had undergone a "midlife upgrade" in 2013.
The U.S. Southern Command said it was monitoring the situation closely.
"We are coordinating closely with the U.S. State Department and our chain of command to be ready to assist, if asked. As of this email, U.S. Southern Command does not have a role in the ongoing
search and rescue effort. We join the international community in hoping for an outcome involving no loss of life or injuries to personnel."
The Argentine Foreign Ministry said that the governments of Chile, U.S. and U.K. had offered logistical support and information in the search for the missing submarine.
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