Fate of missing Argentine submarine unknown

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"The calls are being analyzed, but we do not have clear evidence that they came from that unit", said Gabriel Gonzales, who is in charge of the base where the submarine was slated to arrive Sunday, according to state-run news agency Télam.

The seven signals detected by Argentina's Defense Ministry on Saturday are not made by San Juan alone, Balbi said.

The submarine disappeared last Wednesday along the country's Atlantic coast with 44 crewmen on board.

U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) directed the deployment of the P-8A aircraft, underwater rescue equipment and associated personnel to Argentina to support the country's request for worldwide assistance aimed at locating the missing submarine and crew.

"Some of the signals are naval numbers, and others are unknown".

"They could not help determine a point on the map to help the search".

U.S. satellite company, Iridium Communications, which was brought in to help find the vessel, said the signals did not come from the sub and may have come from other satellite equipment.

More than a dozen boats and aircraft from Argentina, the United States, Britain, Chile and Brazil have joined the effort, with authorities scanning the sea from above as the storm made the search hard for boats, navy Admiral Gabriel Gonzalez told reporters.

The last known location of the submarine was recorded on November 15. Source AAP
The last known location of the submarine was recorded on November 15. Source AAP

An Argentine national flag hangs at the entrance of the Argentine Naval Base Mar del Plata, where the missing submarine is based.

Despite the bad weather, "10 aircraft, both domestic and foreign, are in a search rotation 24 hours a day, each in a different area", he said.

The P-8A Poseidon is the Navy's newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft and is configured with state-of-the-art sensors and communications equipment, allowing it to support a wide range of missions over large bodies of water, including sub-surface search-and-rescue operations.

"We are not discounting any hypothesis", Balbi said.

"We are working arduously to locate it and we are transmitting our hopes to the families of the 44 crew members: that they may soon have them in their homes", he wrote.

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina - the Argentine navy said it would intensify its search operations for the missing submarine Sa Juan.

From the Vatican, Argentine Pope Francis said he was making "fervent prayers" for the crew.

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