Vanished Argentine Submarine Reported Fire in Last Message

By Petr Svab

The final transmission from the Argentine submarine that disappeared on Nov. 15 reported a fire on board due to a short-circuited battery.

In the last message from the ARA San Juan submarine, the captain said water leaked into the ventilation system through the sub’s snorkel.

ARA San Juan submarine being delivered to the Argentine Navy after being repaired at the Argentine Naval Industrial Complex (CINAR) in Buenos Aires, on May 23, 2014. (Alejandro Moritz/AFP/Getty Images)

The water reached a battery connection tray in the prow and “caused a short-circuit and the beginning of a fire, or smoke without flame,” said Enrique Balbi, Argentine Navy spokesman, Fox reported.

The captain reported via satellite phone that the problem had been contained. It did cause a complication though.

A ship sailing the Argentine Sea, seen from the P8-A Poseidon aircraft of the U.S. Navy Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11 assisting in the search for the missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan, after taking off from the Bahia Blanca naval base in Buenos Aires Province on Nov. 26, 2017. (Carlos Reyes/AFP/Getty Images)

“They had to electrically isolate the battery and continue sailing underwater to Mar del Plata using another battery circuit,” Balbi said.

The search for the submarine continues, but there’s little hope any of the 44 sailors aboard survived.

Members of the U.S. Navy Undersea Rescue Command (URC) disembark from the Sophie Siem vessel moored at Comodoro Rivadavia harbour after installing their deep diving rescue vehicle - the Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM) of the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS) - to support the search and rescue efforts for the Argentine missing submarine ARA San Juan in Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut province, Argentina on November 26, 2017.<br /> Weather conditions for the search were good on November 25 -- better than the difficult stormy weather of the past week -- but likely to deteriorate on 26. An army of welders worked frantically to create an opening in the stern of the Norwegian offshore supply ship Sophie Siem, owned by oil company Total, large enough to accommodate an underwater rescue capsule sent by the US Navy. The US capsule can rescue up to 16 trapped submarine sailors at a time in shifts of 20 minutes, experts said. / AFP PHOTO / PABLO VILLAGRA (Photo credit should read PABLO VILLAGRA/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the U.S. Navy Undersea Rescue Command (URC) disembark from the Sophie Siem vessel moored at Comodoro Rivadavia harbor to support the search and rescue efforts for the Argentine missing submarine ARA San Juan in Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut Province, Argentina, on Nov. 26, 2017. (Pablo Villagra/AFP/Getty Images)

The Argentine Navy previously reported an explosion was detected in the area where the submarine disappeared. Even if it survived the explosion, the submarine only had oxygen supplies to last 10 days underwater.

“They haven’t come back and they will never come back,” said Jesica Gopar, the wife of submarine officer, Fernando Santilli. “I had a bad feeling about this and now it has been confirmed.”

A relative of missing submariner Celso Oscar Vallejos looks at supportive messages for the 44 crew members of Argentine missing submarine hanging outside Argentina’s Navy base in Mar del Plata, on the Atlantic coast south of Buenos Aires, on Nov. 23, 2017. (Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images)

Some of the relatives have blamed the Navy for withholding the news of the explosion.

“According to them, they only found out about the explosion now, but who is so stupid to believe that?” said Itati Leguizamon, the wife of one of the crew members. “They are a disgrace. They lied to us.”

The United States, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, South Africa, Uruguay, and the United Kingdom have sent ships or planes to aid in the search.

The Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM) a deep diving rescue vehicle of the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS) to support the Argentine government’s search and rescue efforts for the missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan, in Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut, Argentina, on Nov. 24, 2017. (PABLO VILLAGRA/AFP/Getty Images)

The German-built submarine was commissioned in 1985. It got a $12 million retrofitting in 2014.

From The Epoch Times

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