Argentine navy has searched half the area where submarine disappeared

Undated photo of the Argentin navy’s ARA San Juan submarine that went missing Wednesday with a crew of 44 aboard, and which was not yet found by Saturday after approximately half the area where it disappeared has been searched. EFE/File

Buenos Aires, Nov 18 (efe-epa).- Argentine navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said Saturday in Buenos Aires that approximately half the area has been searched where the ARA San Juan submarine went missing Wednesday with a crew of 44 aboard, local media reported.

The plan for finding the sub is focused on an area some 430 kilometers (265 miles) off the southeastern coast of Valdes Peninsula in the Patagonian province of Chubut.

At this stage no theory is discarded, he said, adding that search results indicate that the missing submarine could be “on the surface.”

The spokesman also announced that a support group is offering aid at the Mar del Plata Naval Base to some 30 family members who spent Friday night waiting for news about their loved ones, the state news agency Telam said.

The last communications from the submarine, with its crew of 44, came in the early hours last Wednesday, but when too much time passed after that without hearing from the ship, officers decided late Thursday afternoon to activate the search protocol.

The submarine constructed in Germany sailed Monday from the southern port of Ushuaia on its way back to its base at the Buenos Aires port of Mar del Plata.