Home » Budget Industry » UPDATED: NASA, U.S. Navy Aircraft Join in Search for Missing Argentine Submarine, 44 Sailors; U.S. Submarine Rescue Crews, Equipment Mobilizing

UPDATED: NASA, U.S. Navy Aircraft Join in Search for Missing Argentine Submarine, 44 Sailors; U.S. Submarine Rescue Crews, Equipment Mobilizing

ARA SanJuan

This post has been updated with additional information from U.S. Southern Command.

A NASA research aircraft has joined in the search for a missing Argentine submarine and its crew of 44 and a U.S. Navy sub-hunting aircraft is on the way.

A NASA P-3 Orion is now looking for the diesel-electric attack boat ARA San Juan (S-42), which has not been heard from since Wednesday, according to press reports from the region. Late Friday, U.S. Southern Command announced a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon left the Compalapa Air Base in El Salvador to join the search.

“U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) directed the U.S. Navy to deploy a P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft to Bahia Blanca, Argentina, Nov. 18 to support the South American nation’s ongoing search for the submarine A.R.A. San Juan in the waters of the Southern Atlantic,” read a late Friday statement from U.S. Southern Command.
“The aircraft and its 21-person crew will depart El Salvador’s Comalapa Air Base, where it was supporting counter-illicit trafficking maritime patrol operations. Once in Bahia Blanca, they will join the ongoing international search for the Argentinean Navy vessel and its crew, as requested by the government of Argentina.”

A P-8A Poseidon assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 flies over the Chesapeake Bay. US Navy Photo

In addition to NASA’s P-3 and the Navy’s P-8, the Argentine Armada has dispatched destroyer ARA Sarandí (D-13), and corvettes ARA Rosales (P-42) and ARA Drummond (P-31).

“Detection has been difficult despite the quantity of boats and aircraft [in the search],”
Argentine naval spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters.
“Obviously, the number of hours that have passed — two days in which there has been no communication — is of note.”

U.S. defense officials told USNI News the search has been hampered by rough weather in the Southern Atlantic. Earlier on Friday,

“We are investigating the reasons for the lack of communication,” Balbi said, according to Reuters.
“If there was a communication problem, the boat would have to come to the surface.”

The submarine departed from the Argentine Armada naval base in the southern city of Ushuaia, located southwest of the Strait of Magellan, and was headed to its homeport at Mar del Plata, near Buenos Aries. The submarine was last heard from about 250 miles off of Patagonia.

The NASA P-3, a modified anti-submarine warfare platform, had been operating out of Ushuaia as part of its annual Antarctic survey when it was asked to join in the search for the missing submarine, U.S. Southern Command spokesman Jose Ruiz told USNI News.

NASA P-3B Orion

Outside of the aircraft, the U.S. has not been asked to contribute assets to the search but is preparing specialized submarine rescue equipment in anticipation of a request from Buenos Aries, USNI News has learned.

U.S. Navy Undersea Rescue Command is mobilizing the specialized submarine rescue equipment and personnel in San Diego to crew the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS), two defense officials confirmed to USNI News.

The system can be transported via cargo aircraft and loaded onto a surface ship for rescue operations.

San Juan is one of three Argentine Armada submarines. The German-built TR-1700 attack boat joined the fleet in 1985 and completed a midlife upgrade in 2013, U.S. Naval Institute’s Combat Fleets of the World author Eric Wertheim told USNI News on Friday.

The following is the complete statement from U.S. Southern Command.


NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. – U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) directed the U.S. Navy to deploy a P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft to Bahia Blanca, Argentina, Nov. 18 to support the South American nation’s ongoing search for the submarine A.R.A. San Juan in the waters of the Southern Atlantic.

The aircraft and its 21-person crew will depart El Salvador’s Comalapa Air Base, where it was supporting counter-illicit trafficking maritime patrol operations. Once in Bahia Blanca, they will join the ongoing international search for the Argentinean Navy vessel and its crew, as requested by the government of Argentina.

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. It can reach an airspeed of 564 mph, has a ceiling of 41,000 feet and a range of 1,200 nautical miles with four hours on station, allowing it to loiter over search areas.

In April, SOUTHCOM deployed a P-8A Poseidon to Galeão Air Force Base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where it took part in an internationally-supported search for The Republic of Korea ship, Stella Daisy, which tragically sank in the Southern Atlantic, off the western coast of Africa.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, P-8A Poseidon aircraft conducted overflight assessment missions, capturing images of conditions on the ground in Dominica to support U.S. foreign disaster assistance operations led by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

SOUTHCOM is one of the nation’s six geographically-focused unified commands with responsibility for U.S. military operations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

  • Joseph P. Campbell

    Argentina has a submarine????

    • Brian washere

      Exactly my thoughts…

      • watchdogsc

        They’re at the bottom of the world so why not!

      • Morton

        It’s a German built TR-1700 class submarine. Though old, those boats have an excellent reputation. As the article says, it was overhauled in 2013, strange that it should just disappear.

        • Tom Sawyer

          Overhauled by whom is the question. I daresay it wasnt the Germans…

          • ARGENTVS

            In the german designed shipyard to make them in Argentina, there is 2 of 4 incomplete and other submarines already had MLU’s without problems:
            The fear here is a torpedo explosion or uncontrolable fire that didn’t gave time to even deploy emergency buoys.

          • Tom Sawyer

            That would be an entirely plausible scenario.

          • Hoc Defendam

            Lots of Alemanes(ex-pats) in Argentina…..I learned my Spanish from one when I was in 5th grade. Had a funny accent though….They got visas to visit in the last days of the Reich.
            That being said, I concur with the above comment that when a ship or sailor is in trouble on the open sea, it’s an all-hands event.

    • Zank Frappa

      1985 model.

    • Misti Fied


      • Tom Sawyer

        Actually they have three subs, a fact that surprised me as well.
        The ARA Salta (S-31), ARA Santa Cruz (S-41) and ARA San Juan (S-42).

        • Guatemala

          and then there were 2

          • Tom Sawyer

            Sadly it seems that may be the case.

        • Frank

          Let me guess…the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria. No wait…that was Portugal. Never mind.

        • Hoc Defendam

          Yep, and the Argentines lost the ARA Santa Fe (S-21) in the Falklands War in 1982. It was a USNavy sub built in Groton back in 1944, called the USS Catfish. So there’s a history of subs there….

      • airmail56

        Too Soon.

        • roner

          too true

    • Robert Lee

      They need at least one submarine so their leadership can escape the national territory in case their crazy military leaders ever make the call to attack Chile without provocation and the Chileans decide to bomb Buenos Aires to ashes.

      • Chris .

        Dumb comment, from a self rec’ing troll.

    • Diakrisis

      They had them in 1945 when Hitler moved down there after he fled Germany.

    • Ashley West

      My thoughts exactly.

    • roner


    • rayg

      Not any more.


      2 TR.1700s, 1 U-209.

    • Justanaveragejoeinsc

      You would be surprised how many nations have subs. Chile does to and successfully rescued crew from one that sank. Argentina also has a carrier.

      • Andy Lopez

        No, Argentina used to have a carrier. It was dismissed on the late’s 90.

      • spaceranger

        I think there has not been a full accounting of the number of Soviet subs that just sort of disappeared after the fall of the USSR. Some of them may have been sold to parties unknown.

    • Frank

      It looks like it was made in someone’s basement.

    • Peter Haan

      I fear that the cartel(s) may have gotten their latest piece of transportation.

  • Eric

    If its at the bottom, their odds of being found in time for rescue are nil. Sorry to hear of this.

    • Tom Sawyer

      Perhaps, but perhaps not. The US for example has rescue submersibles that are literally designed for this very scenario; to rescue people trapped in submarines deep below the surface. It comes down to whether they can find their location fast enough.

      They probably still have a few days to find them before the worst.

      • Constance Underfoot

        I truly agree. But the accident isn’t in the North Atlantic, around Hawaii, Japan, or the Med & Persian Gulf. It’s somewhere where we’re not.

        • Zatara01

          Since USN submarines operate worldwide their rescue assets are air transportable at very short notice.

          • Tom Sawyer

            True. Which is the very point of having such a global presence. Lets just hope they actually offer the aid, and can get there in short notice.

        • Tom Sawyer

          Agreed, but by the same token, theres very few places on earth the US military does not have a presence.

      • Jeremie A

        I am currently at Undersea Rescue Command as a contractor and we are standing by waiting to load our equipment onto trucks and then onto a plane(s). Our rescue asset can mate with a submarine up to 2000 FSW. We are currently identifying ships, airports, and seaports so we are ready to loadout and head out to sea if we go.

        • Twohawk is Tired of the BS

          Blessings to you and crew, and we hope you can help them.

        • Tom Sawyer

          God speed

          • Jeremie A

            We are still waiting word from the Argentine government on the green light. We have cranes and trucks being loaded and Air Force C-5 and C-17’s are enroute. We will soon find out as there is a meeting right now as we speak.

          • muzzleloader

            Please keep us posted if possible. God speed.

    • Yirmin

      Depends on how far from Argentina they were then they went down. There is a fairly wide underwater shelf off Argentina that is less than 200 meters deep which would not be beyond rescue. Now if they in the Argentine Basin when they went down I’m thinking they are done as that sub is only tested to about 300 meters. Hopefully the plane won’t see any oil slick, if they do then its probably imploded.

  • Miles O’Toole

    Argentine? Aren’t they at odds with the British (Faukland Islands)? why would we be helping them?

    • Ted

      Because we’d help any nation with sailors potentially in danger, regardless of any territorial dispute with our ally. It’s not as if they’re actively at war with the UK.

    • Jack Burton

      Some things are done because it’s the human thing to do over global politics. Rescuing sailors in great peril certainly qualifies. Hopefully they are still alive and rescuable.

    • Horn

      I would say for the greater good, but I’ll put it to you another way. If one of your submarines sank, and other countries might be able to help find it and rescue the crew but refused to help, wouldn’t you be more hostile towards them in the future?

      • Tom Sawyer

        Yes. Example, when the Kursk sank, the US volunteered to help and use their custom rescue submersibles. Initially the Russians said they didnt want help. Then they changed their mind. That initial delay cost the lives of the entire crew.

        They COULD have been rescued. Lets hope the Argentinians are a bit more welcoming of willing aid.

      • Miles O’Toole

        there are no other countries, include Russia, that can assist in a submarine “rescue”….on the USA.

    • StevenNewsom

      There are rules of the sea that go beyond national boundrys.

    • If at sea you always help the other ship if it’s in distress.

      BTW, it was pretty well known that the SS California ignored the SOS from Titanic and at least 1,000 souls could have been saved. The captain & crew of SS California were denounced as lazy slackers, never got another promotion, and died in shame.

    • Tom Sawyer

      Because despite allegiances or borders, on occasion, humans try to help each other in dire situations.

      One of those things that separates us from monkeys and squirrels.

    • El_Sid

      The UK was one of the first to send help in this instance – the RN may have expended a lot of effort in 1982 trying to sink the Argentine subs, but in peacetime the law of the sea, and common decency, means you respond to maydays.

  • dan

    USO, uhm… d’you think they were abducted by Bob Hope alien replicas from Mars?

  • John Brown

    Why do they need a sub? I hope they are found OK.

    • Robert Lee

      ’cause they have thousands of miles of water to patrol?

      • John Brown

        Who are attacking them?

        • Robert Lee

          Who isn’t? If you weren’t such a clueless dumb SJW, I would school you about the war-like history of the region but I don’t have time.

          A book about Argentina’s conflict with England, Paraguay and Chile would help cure your ignorance.

          Carry on now.

          • John Brown

            That was long ago, these days no one is knocking on their door demanding the kings jewels

          • Robert Lee

            Spoken like a true Hillary voter.

            FYI Gruber, Argentina almost went to war against Chile in 1978. Later in 1982, at the same time the Argies were “negotiating” peace with Chile over Beagle Channel at the Vatican, they invaded the Falkland Islands. In 2008, Argentinian generals openly admitted the Falkands war was the preamble for an invasion of Chilean territory.

            Now go light your candle, you ignorant idiot.


          • John Brown

            That admission was taken under extreme duress, the Falklandish people deserve to be free from the UK, and no country that produces the Pope is all bad.

          • xiphias

            If you start preparing for that once you hear the knocking it is already too late.

  • Tom Sawyer

    Subs are required to surface if they lose communications. This way they can be easily spotted via the air, fresh O2 can be allowed in, and the batteries can recharge. If they have not surfaced by this point, they are likely helplessly resting at the bottom of the South Atlantic with no means to issue a distress call.

    If response is fast enough howver, they may still be able to be rescued, and a “Kursk” like incident can be avoided. There are submersibles designed specifically for these types of deep sea submarine rescue operations.

    • Chris .

      Hey tom, I bet it wouldn’t have sunk if equipped with some Huck “Fins”

    • Enoch Root

      There’s a big storm in the area, they can´t surface for now if they only lose comms.

  • dora2

    Served in the US Navy (1978-1984) aboard nuclear submarines. My first submarine, USS Scamp (SSN 588), was on a UNITAS mission and operated with the navies from several South American countries. I remember having an officer aboard the Scamp that served aboard his country’s diesel submarine who was trying to repress astonishment when seeing our depth gauges and speed indicators greatly exceeding those he was accustomed to.

    • Twohawk is Tired of the BS

      I bet it was cool to share that with him. The look on his face must have been great. Thanks for your service, sir.

    • Chris .

      what are your thought on the US submariner who went to the brig for taking pics on his sub?

      • alpha1six

        When you are assigned to a job that requires a clearance you are schooled on the sensitivity of what you see and do. If you violate that security, you can only blame yourself for the consequences. The old WW2 motto “Loose Lips Sink Ships” is just as true today as it was then.
        The rub is when politicians, their staff, reporters or others receive lesser punishment when they violate security.That is wrong.

        • Robert Lee

          Unless your name is Hillary and your last name is Clinton.

      • Leonard Suschena

        I think its bull. He never sent those photos anywhere and they found them on a discarded phone. There are several photo’s posted on the internet that show far more information than those photos did. And, Bergdahl got off Scott free after leaving his post and got 6 of his brothers killed.
        ET1SS SSBN640 Blue

        • Frank

          Who is Scott Free?

          • bowman

            Scot Free aka Mr. Miracle.

          • Jason Roamer

            Who is John Galt?

          • Conan the Republican

            I can’t believe it’s not butter!

          • Where She Belongs

            You know the guy that does the Verizon drop the mic commercials? Well, that’s not him.

        • Stephen

          1. Other people’s behavior do not justify his behavior, nor do other photos on the internet.

          2. The UCMJ doesn’t care if he sent them or not; he had no business taking them.

          3. The fact that he discarded the phone with photos of secretive information shows callous disregard for protocol.

          The kid made a mistake and he got punished – he received a fair proceeding and had recourse to appeal. Only bleeding hearts would feel badly for him. He knew the rules and broke them, and apparently didn’t care how many of his fellow service members could be killed as a result. Bergdahl DID deserve harsh punishment – but that in no way excuses the puke that thought he could take sensitive photos and then discard the phone.

      • Dr9Love

        I remember while in the USAF that we were (for good reason) not allowed to take pictures near our aircraft. Thing is, you could go to a book store or library and look at images of exactly what we maintained. Still, it’s a bad idea to disobey a direct order.

        • grizzled1two

          Reminds me of certain U-2 sensor pods that we were explicitly ordered to not take any pictures or make any descriptions of under the consequence of receiving an Article 15. Two weeks later after flying covert missions, the Air Force released a photo of a U-2 with one of those sensor pods in a story lauding that aircraft’s efforts in breaking the altitude payload world record. Go figure. Now there are pictures of it everywhere all over the internet.

    • ssnst

      Served US Navy 1978-2001 ships force on 6 boats (1 ssbn the rest ssn) never made a UNITAS but plenty of others. Best to you.

      • Deploracles Infidelicus

        My guess is your Av name is for being a Sonar Tech? 🙂

        • ssnst

          Yes. Great rate.

      • Anna Kreski

        Thank you for your service.

        • ssnst

          Ty, Ms.

    • Jim

      was he cleared for what he saw?

      • Datapath

        No, they made him wear a blindfold the whole time he was stationed in the sub.

        • EZEEEEEEEE

          That was awesome.

    • Mohammed_Goldberg

      Probably made him very nervous.

    • Tom Sawyer

      Thank you for your service sir.


      I had a footlong honey oat roast chicken breast with horseradish sauce thrown at me last week.

      • Conan the Republican

        And I’ll bet it was in the heat of sexual passion, too, huh?

    • BoardPost

      I served on the Billfish, Narwhal, and Ray. God be with these 44 men.

      And yes, it was always fun to have foreigners aboard, you would have thought they were on a death star. 🙂

    • BS in port all depth gages were covered up as were any speed indicators. No foreign national were allowed aft of Frame 85. Sea story – one diesel ss, 2 ssbn’s MMCS(SS)(SW) USN Ret. DBFE – diesel boats forever. My prayers are for the sailors.

      • grizzled1two

        You’d be surprised what our top brass will let other foreign military members see. It wasn’t too long ago that the Air Force allowed Russian generals and pilots participate in a Red Flag exercise that was classified Top Secret.

    • James Anderson

      I am claustrophobic and have always admired people who served on a submarine and stayed underwater for weeks at a time. The Navy only takes the best for sub duty. Thank you for your service.

    • richb313

      Former Fast Attack Sailor also served on the Dixon AS 37 in San Diego. I repaired the Scamp several times. If you pulled into San Diego before July of 1979 we probably passed each other. Worked in the Antenna / Sonar shop on the Dixon.

  • You Guessed It

    Being a Diesel Boat, it is probably at the bottom and are or have already run out of air. They don’t have 02 scrubbers like nuke boats do.

    • Tom Sawyer

      Diesel is only used for surface travel, and batteries when submerged.

      • You Guessed It

        Yes, Diesel operations are common knowledge, but once the batteries run out normally 48 to 72 hours depending how much they were used before they went down, the air will run out unless they had a fire.

        • Tom Sawyer

          Yes, without battery power the air supply is likely limited to whats left in the sub at this point. THAT and the fact they havent surfaced means either a issue with the ballast systems, or something…worse.

      • daunt43

        You missed the point of TexasHornyToad’s post. If some malfunction is keeping them on the bottom, they will in fact run out of O2.

    • Duane

      Depends upon where the bottom is. The reports indicate the boat was operating a coupla hundred miles east of the coast of Argentina in the south Atlantic, where depending upon latitude, depths can be many thousands of feet. Something like 2% of the world’s oceans are shallow enough for a typical sunken disabled sub to survive the depths at the bottom.

      Once the hull passes crush depth, there is an instantaneous implosion. and compression of the atmosphere in a sub by the in-rushing waters, which atmosphere contains (naturally) diesel fumes, you get a diesel ignition, and instantaneous death for all humans on board.

      The SSN I served on performed a lot of the certification and ops testing for the DSRV (Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle), which was designed for rescuing crews of disabled boats on the bottom of the ocean. We understood at the time that DSRV was intended more for the comfort of families of sub sailors than for practical rescue ops, given how little of the oceans are survivable in a sinking. Later on, as described in the book “Blind Man’s Bluff”, it turns out that DSRV had another special mission, that of finding and tapping into Soviet submarine cables for purposes of gathering SIGINT.

  • Tom Sawyer

    Missing since Wednesday. Most diesel powered subs can last about 7 days submerged on their batteries…but thats in optimal conditions. Its been 2.5 days now.

    That said, If they cant communicate, its likely they dont have said battery power, or their communications equipment is damaged.

    If they cant surface either, the ballast tanks are likely damaged/ruptured which is indicative of either a collision or massive mechanical failure. There are redundancies in place for those systems, meaning it had to be a very serious issue for this scenario to even occur.

    • Leonard Suschena

      Submarine batteries don’t last that long, couple days at most.
      They can’t communicate unless the antenna is above the surface. or within 40 feet or so of the surface, where they can raise the antenna.
      The ballast tanks can only compensate for so much water. If there was flooding in just one compartments, the ballast tanks couldn’t over come the weight.

  • Robert Lee

    Self-rec’ing troll alert.

  • Chris .

    What a waste of money for Argentina to staff and man 4 subs…who is going to attack them? Hope the sailors are OK.

    • Shears-of-Atropos

      The disagreement about the Falklands still exists. The UK will provide destroyers to preserve their sovereignty, but the U-boats are a balance against that.

      • Chris .

        They attacked the Brits,,they weren’t attacked…and if they tried it again, same results, huge sad losses.

        • Shears-of-Atropos

          I made no comment about right or wrong, only the strategic and tactical issues involved. Otherwise, I have no opinion on who “owns” the Falklands.

          • Chris .

            I understand, and wasn’t implying you did, just thinking outloud.

          • roner

            Nor did he say anything about right or wrong!

        • Andy Lopez

          Even though it was a military government and a stupid decision by that time, Argentina got back in 1982 the islands that belong to them. England invaded those island around 1810 and Argentina has been claiming for them since then.

          • El_Sid

            Except Argentina didn’t actually exist in 1810, and the Spanish claim to the islands is pretty tenuous, and far weaker than the British claim.

            Self-determination is a basic principle of international law. The islanders have made it perfectly clear that they regard themselves as British and wish to remain so. If you’re going to assign territory based on who was there hundreds of years ago rather than the democratic consent of the people who live there at present, I wouldn’t want to be someone called “Lopez” living anywhere in South America…

    • Frank Osborn

      And for the same waste of money North Korea is building their Nuclear Submarine while people starve to death.

      • Hoc Defendam

        I know, right? Did you read the recent article about the defector from NK that had large variety of parasites in his digestive tract, one ten inches long? Indicative of eating just about anything to stay alive…

    • Lucas Nahuel Colombo

      Seems you don’t know a lot about Argentina. The country was attacked 2 times by UK in the past, plus the fact of that the Falklands/Malvinas conflict, is still active. In the last 30 years the country had 2 masive terrorist attacks (probably because of our participation at gulf war), 2 big conflicts with Chile (almost wars), several internal guerrillas, 4 coup attempts against democratic governments and several military uprisings. Argentina have thousands of miles of coast to patrol and the hypothesis of an invasion by water is probable.

      • El Kabong

        Seems you’re drunk.

        You LOST the war you started.

        The Falklands were NEVER Argie territory.

        • Lucas Nahuel Colombo

          I didn’t say The Falklands were Argentine territory. I’m just telling facts. Argentina doesn’t have a peaceful history as Chris thought at the time he wrote his comment. We have thousands of kilometers of coast to protect. We are constantly invaded by ilegal Chinese fishing boats. And the hypothesis of conflict is existent. So, I don’t think is waste of money to own and mantain 4 submarines (at least if we compare it with other, much less important, wastes of money that our goverment does).

          • El Kabong


            Drunk or stoned? Both?

            When were they “attacked” by the Brits?

            Your Argie pals attacked and INVADED sovereign British territory.

            “We are constantly invaded by ilegal Chinese fishing boats.”?



            A lot of countries are trying to deal with illegal fishing.
            They aren’t being “invaded”.

            How’s that Argie fighter fleet doing these days?

  • Fisher

    Bless those sailors.

  • Argentina still wants the Falkland Islands despite having no legitimate historical claim to them.

  • Robert Lee

    They might want to ask the Chileans how to rescue people in impossible situations (the miners in 2010). But there is no way Argentinians would ever let Chileans teach them a lesson.

  • Craig B.

    Prayers for the safe return of the crew.

  • Shears-of-Atropos

    There is a tradition: “MAN OVERBOARD”, that is understood around the world. One lost at sea is a thing that seamen understand. Why should the US NOT assist the Argentines? Their sons are missing, and one way or the other, civilized people help others in their times of loss.

    I hope they are found and rescued, not like the crew of the submarine Thresher.

    • Tom Sawyer

      Agree 100%. Pray for the 44 souls aboard and god speed to their potential rescuers.

    • mcmash54

      That would be a horrible way to die , being stuck under water as your air ran out.

      • Joey Suggs

        Nah, you just get sleepy. It’s slow, but it is a decent way to go.

      • Duane

        Most of the world’s seas are vastly deeper than any military submarine pressure hull can withstand. This boat was operating in the south Atlantic, where that would be the case. There’s no running out of oxygen. The boat sinks until the pressure hull fails, and it happens almost instantaneously. One instant the crew is alive, an instant later they’re all gone.

        • ARGENTVS

          Actually the Argentine sea under 200nm from the shore is between 70 to 400 meters deep, then it go steep down. Is the continental shelf.

          • Duane

            Depends on latitude. In the southern latitudes, the shelf extends out quite a ways from shore, but not in the northern latitudes off Buenos Aires. I just read one report that said the sub was last heard from at a position 430 km (232 miles) east of Chabut Province, around 42 to 46 degrees South latitude. Test depth for the class of boat is reported to be 300m. Crush depth is presumably higher (maybe 400m?), so it might be possible to be lying disabled on the bottom in that area, but it could also be right at or below crush depth.

    • wiggumc1

      I think generally, assistance is offered but not given until asked for.

    • Leonard Suschena

      First of all, you don’t fall overboard unless you are on the surface and you actually fall over board.

      Did you not read the article at all? NASA P3 is on the search, mostly because it is there for other things. The US Navy submarine rescue equipment is mobilizing and will fly out when Argentina asks them to assist. It can be deployed anywhere in the world in 24 hours.

      But if it is flown to Argentina, they can’t do anything until the lost submarine is found.

  • Tom Sawyer

    Sad this happens once every 10 years or so.

    Some countries simply dont maintain their submarine fleets well enough. They are exceedingly expensive and complex machines to maintain, even for a superpower.

    • Duane

      Even very well maintained submarines, manned by well trained crews, can still suffer failures that can result in loss of ship. There’s dozens of systems and thousands of parts that can fail at any time, and underwater, the margin of safety is very small.

      The underwater world is unforgiving, and sometimes, despite everything, it comes down to luck, good or bad, along with good casualty response performance. During my four year tour on an SSN during the Cold War, my boat suffered two casualties that could easily have resulted in loss of the ship … despite the fact that our boat was very well maintained and expertly operated, with numerous unit awards achieved, and passing all required cert testing with flying colors. In both instances, correct and rapid response by the crew saved us from catastrophe. And that does not even count the Cold War “combat” stuff that we did that could also have resulted in a loss of ship.

      Submarine warfare is just flat out dangerous.

      • Tom Sawyer

        Well said.

  • Chris .

    No GPS on their subs?

    • Tom Sawyer

      Doubt they were maintained very well over the last 40 years to begin with, much less updated with that level of modern tech. Theyre likely still using the stock 1980s equipment that came with the sub.

      Also keep in mind, even if they had GPS, it only works on the surface where said satellites can actually pick up the signal to begin with.

      • mcmash54

        They should have a pinger like they do in the black boxes in airliners, those can be picked up under the water.

        • Robert Lee

          They don’t work at 10,000 ft of depth, assuming the sub won’t be crushed by the pressure.

          • Tom Sawyer

            They could also be just off the shelf, in a few hundred meters of water as well. Optimistic of course, but we simply dont know.

          • El_Sid

            The continental shelf extends a long way out from the east coast of South America, particularly around the Falklands where the Falklands Plateau extends most of the way to South Georgia. Even north of there, the edge of the shelf runs roughly due north of the Falklands.

            The search area appears to be comfortably on the continental shelf, so if undamaged there should be a reasonable chance of it surviving the pressure. Of course, “undamaged” is a big assumption, particularly since they appear not to have been able to release an emergency beacon.

            Sadly the recent history of the Argentine navy doesn’t inspire confidence, with destroyers capsizing at the pierside and submarine crews getting just a few days at sea per year.

        • Tom Sawyer

          They do so to speak, but those also generally require battery power to operate. They also have whats called a SEC buoy (submarine emergency communications), which is literally a small buoy launched to the surface, to mark a damaged vessels location.

          • mcmash54

            That makes sense. But it would lead one to expect the worst if they didn’t pick up a signal from the emergency buoy.

          • Tom Sawyer

            Yes. Must have had a very serious issue to lose communications and the ability to surface.

            A collision or on-board fire of some sort is the only thing I can think of.

      • Lucas Nahuel Colombo

        The sub’s equipment was renewed just a few years ago. Of course the have GPS…. but as far as I know, GPS doesn’t work if you are 200 mts deep…

        • Tom Sawyer

          It was refurbished in 2013 I believe, but considering the Argentines military budget and the fact it was a late 70s early 80s model sub, theres only so much they couldve done to “modernize” the ship within their budget, and with compatible tech.

  • airmail56

    I wish them luck in recovering the ship and crew.

  • Joey Suggs

    Argentina is an unstable third world country. They should not have a sub. Let is got to its watery grave.

    • alpha1six

      What a terrible thing to say. I guess that it is okay to wish for the death of 44 innocent sailors but not okay if you describe that kind of thinking as idiotic.

  • alpha1six

    Folks try to remember that there are 44 real human beings on that boat who have families. I know that many folks who are posting here have never served in uniform and think that it is their job to make a joke out of the military regardless of the pain. Please try to put yourselves in the place of the parents, brothers and sisters, wives and children of these 44 crew members.

    • Joey Suggs

      Try placing yourself in the place of sailors killed because the US was fooled into giving up info regarding our tracking capabilities.

      • Tom Sawyer

        Theyre using an Orion P3, they were developed in the 1960s. Nasas variation has been in service since the early 90s. They are generally used for surveillance, but are not new nor unique (see the P8A Posiedon for example).

        Many other countries have equivalent aircraft.

        • Leonard Suschena

          There are using it because it is there. Other source can be mobilized once Argentina makes a request.

          • Hoc Defendam

            Do you know if the NASA aircraft has sonobuoys? Could be used to listen for SOS pings.

          • grizzled1two

            NASA uses the P-3 to map the sea floor around Antarctica amongst other research. I would guess they could use the same tech to find a missing sub if need be.

          • Stephen

            Even w/o buoys, this is a platform that can linger over the search area. Not sure if the MAD gear is still functional on the NASA bird; that could be useful.

        • John Stevens

          Actually, the P3A entered service in 1962. The P3B (NASA’S version) entered service in 1965. The P3C entered service in 1969. USN replacement of the P3C by the P8 Poseiden is underway (or completed, depending upon budgets).

      • Leonard Suschena

        Tracking capabilities? You mean SOSUS? The US didn’t get fooled into giving that ways, a traitor sold it to the Soviet Union for $35K.

        • Tom Sawyer

          Just like the Clintons gave NK uranium for “peaceful purposes” back in the 90s.


          • grizzled1two

            And ballistic missile secrets to China.

          • ASA_98C

            You beat me to it! Treason at it’s best. Both Clintons should face a firing squad.

            Prayers to these submariners & their families.

          • LES HABS

            The ones who need a firing squad are the trumps ..but as they say you can’t fix stupid…[email protected]@!

          • Askjrsk

            That’s why you are in-fixable!!! Ha!

          • LES HABS

            Well we know your inbred

            Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

          • Mk-Ultra

            stop watching fox news

          • Mk-Ultra

            liberals are so violent. No wonder you burn down your own cities

          • LES HABS

            More like trump letting Russians in the white house

          • olemustanger

            You have your head in the sand because you blame Trump for all your wows. Besides the fact the US has interfered with many other countries elections and even had assins. We are not lily white. Now you talk trash about Russins in the White house so what! You should be more concerned with voter fraud. Aka voter machine tampering, illegals encouraging to vote. What happened to following the constitution no law can be made that allows congress not to follow. This is in the bill of rights. Another is you MUST BE A CITIZEN OF USA TO VOTE.

          • Mk-Ultra

            There it is ladies and gentlemen, an American right winger just now proudly admitting he’s okay with treason at the highest level in the government.

            “What happened to following the constitution..”

            “…. Russins in the White house so what!”

          • Askjrsk

            You are so ignorant. It’s incredible.

          • Mk-Ultra


            you wouldn’t post fake news, would you

        • AeolusRyder

          It’s still laying on the ocean floor, although today they claim it is used for science. I helped with laying an array long time ago and still wish I could go back to sea. Prayers for the Crew and their families.

      • RedStatePatriot

        What sailors were killed? Oh yeah none.

        • Conan the Republican

          Blow a goat, ya chimp.

          • RedStatePatriot

            OK, perhaps you don’t read very well but my response to “Jason Suggs” above has nothing to do the missing Argentine sailors, so you can learn to read better and stuff it. He claims that the US helping helping locate the missing sub endangers US sailors by giving away our detection capabilities. You are apparently as S_____d as he is..

        • Jennifer Ann Smith

          Right…a sub with 44 people goes missing, and you really think its likely that no sailors were killed?

          • RedStatePatriot

            OK, perhaps you don’t read very well but my response to “Jason Suggs” above has nothing to do the missing Argentine sailors, so you can learn to read better and stuff it. He claims that the US helping locate the missing sub endangers US sailors by giving away our detection capabilities. You are apparently as S_____d as he is.

    • Justanaveragejoeinsc

      I had the pleasure of working with the Argentine armed forces and they are a very professional force. I am saddened to hear this news.

      • Hoc Defendam

        The British Navy found that out the hard way some years ago…!

        • Richard Magnuson

          The Brits won.

          • Dennis Johnson

            at great cost

          • Joey B

            Not really given the circumstances. The Brits won quickly and decisively.

          • El Kabong

            Cost the Argies more.

          • James Wellington

            It was a God send. The military government lost power, and Democracy was restored

        • El Kabong

          Who won?

          • Stephen

            Argentina could have entered an employment agreement with the British. Sending a female dominated work-force to mostly male populated islands. Let nature take its course. You always learn your mother’s language; two generations, without firing a shot. The Falklands would be the Malvinas…

          • El Kabong

            Wouldn’t happen.

            The Britons prefer people with a decent work ethic.

        • James Wellington

          The only reason the Argentines attacked the Falklands was because it was overrun by a military dictatorship, Argentina wasnt a democracy in those dark years, just like Germany wasnt during the third reich. The people of Argentina today who have the same democratic privileges as any modern society would never have let their military engage in such a conflict.

    • Paul Marado

      Most likely missing due to global warming climate change

    • realitycheck111

      Well said!

    • James Anderson

      Finally someone sane posts on here. Many many posters on here live in their parents basements and make what they think are funny posts or they attack other posters. They do this because we don’t really know who they are. I call them gutless keyboard commandos. In real life they stay in their P.J.’s all day and mommy makes their meals for them. Get a life and leave your basements and try to do something constructive with your life.

    • life form

      hear, hear. well spoken.

  • Street Detective

    Diesel electric are “silent.” Who are they stalking?

    • mcmash54

      They’re not silent by any means, unless they are completely shut down.

      • Tom Sawyer

        Depends on the model of course, but agreed the late 70s early 80s subs were not really known for their silent running.

        Aaand now I want to watch “Hunt for Red October”.

        • Hoc Defendam

          “The propeller wake from a ship may be important for an understanding of ship wakes in radar images. Interpretation of wake imagery promises to be useful in wide area maritime surveillance using satellites.”

    • Tom Sawyer

      They only use diesel on the surface. Underwater they use electric, which is in fact pretty darn quiet.

  • Ken Hood

    Jay Dee – if you were the leader of a country, it would be the first to fall. What kind of question is that? Try this – leave your doors unlocked at night and see if everyone else is as “peaceful” as you are…

  • Joey Suggs

    Bolivia is landlocked, fool.

  • Oveida Sinclair

    Argentina is a western nation and we should provide what ever we can to assist in recovering, or rescuing these sailors. My dad was a Naval aviator and as far as he is concerned there are no enemy, no bad guy in situations like this, only people who are in desperate need of assistance and all sea going nations who can assist should respond likewise.

  • Duane

    A thread like this should be a no-joke zone.

  • veganstephen

    Didn’t we find an NK sub yesterday with a satellite? Hopefully we can find this one, too. Once found, how is a rescue accomplished?

  • PappyStu

    We hope their bodies are not yet committed to the deep, that they shall be returned to the bosoms of their loved ones and that joy not sorrow be their outcome… Pappy MMC (SS)

  • Justanaveragejoeinsc

    Jay Dee – to keep the sea lanes open and commerce moving unimpeded. That has been the first mission of navies back to the Greeks. Think of Pirates operating off the Red Sea in the major lanes of the oil carriers. Without navies piracy would rise to the levels of the 1700’s again.

  • Gary Summersell

    It is hard to think of a worse death than being on a submarine that sinks and loses power and it wasn’t in a deep enough part of the ocean to hit crush depth. I did my time as a Marine and would much rather be a Marine that ride on a sub.

  • Tom Sawyer

    Nooooo God no. Libertarian thru and thru. Im more isolationist than most in fact, but do believe militarys can be used for a few quasi-noble purposes, other than simply bombing countries into oblivion; aid and rescue being among them.

    That said of course, if a country’s military threatens the US or UK, they are basically asking for the wrath of God, and I support self defense wholly in every such scenario. Not a big fan of promoting proxy wars abroad, or sponsoring terror though; thats not good for anyone.

    Modern Neo-Liberals its seems would rather the West have no borders, military, or sovereignty at all, and would seemingly rather have Karl Marx running the show.

    • Miles O’Toole

      not Karl Marx running the show….themselves running the show in the spirit of Karl Marx. They are the only adults in the room, and know what’s best for all of us and the planet. (what’s best except for their ruling class, who, of course, can’t possibly lead under their own rules…that would be silly)

  • Tim_Parker_999

    Why does the Argentine Navy even need a sub?!

    • Lucas Nahuel Colombo

      Why wouldn’t they need it?

    • Tom Sawyer

      If their neighbors have them, theyd be at a military disadvantage if they dont.

  • FlushRyan

    Thoughts are with the family and friends of those missing. Must be so difficult for them right now.

  • DaSaint

    I can’t believe the number of crass and unprofessional comments here regarding what could be a submarine lost with all hands. We lost lives from similar accidents and most recently from crews that had difficulties navigating on the surface. The fact that some are belittling foreign lives here in comparison is patheric.

    My prayers for the crews and their families.

  • BeccaLeigh

    I can’t even imagine what their families are going through knowing that there hasn’t been any communication in days. I pray that they are all found and safely returned to their families!


    Let’s hope they are found fast and rescued.

    • Tom Sawyer

      Theres still a chance of a good resolution here, but its slim…and the longer it takes to find the ship, the smaller those chances become.

      God speed to the searchers and rescuers! God help their poor families.

  • Gael

    Why does Argentina have a submarine?

    • Tom Sawyer

      If their neighbors have them, theyd be at a military disadvantage if they didnt.

    • Jason

      To transport socialism to King Neptune and Ariel.

    • Where She Belongs

      Because they couldn’t afford an aircraft carrier.

  • Tom Sawyer

    THIS is the nightmare scenario for every sailor whos ever been assigned to a submarine.

  • I hope they are found alive.

  • Tom Sawyer

    From the BBC:
    There is no sign yet that the problem is anything worse than a communications failure, a spokesman said.

    It is believed that the ARA San Juan, a German-built TR-1700 type submarine, suffered an electric malfunction, Argentina’s La Nacion reports.

    Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told the newspaper the submarine had been on its way from the Ushuaia naval base to the Mar del Plata base, its usual station, when “at some moment communication stopped”.

    “It’s not that it’s lost,” he said. “For it to be lost we’d have to look for it and not find it.”

  • gordon_wagner

    Hope the sub and its crew are ok. Praying for good news.

  • tdrag

    Prayers for those sailors.

  • Steve walker

    knew a Navy sub guy who’s claim to fame was “ I spent 9 years under water”

  • Tom Sawyer

    Just found out Argentina’s “first woman submariner” happened to be on board. Terrible way to highlight such an occasion.

    The good news is the Argentinian authorities are saying its not really an “emergency”, rather that they simply lost communications, possibly due to a reported battery fire.

    Lets hope thats the case. That said, if that were in fact the case…they shouldve surfaced by now, as is standard procedure.

  • Eduardo Adano

    ay que esperar, Dios reteja a nuestros marinos

  • Christopher Schmoe

    As a retired Submariner, I hope they are able to find and rescue them.

  • Eduardo Adano

    ay que esperar, Dios

  • Eduardo Adano

    protejer a nuestros marinos, no reteja eso lo escribió la computadora mía, no de ustedes ok

  • Rick D

    God only knows what our submariners indure , for it is the silent service and they can’t talk about 90% of what they do ,where they go,and how deep,fasting close they get to danger.

  • Hal

    Wishing the best for those submariners. Sadly, I cannot be optimistic, but we can hope.

  • Alberto Luis Aquino

    I want to thank to the US Navy and NASA for help us to search the missing submarine ARA San Juan and its crews of 44 submarines Seilors…

  • dd121

    Is the pressure hull rated for 17,000 feet?

  • EasTexan

    Who knew Argentina had a submarine? And Why?

    • AeolusRyder

      They also “had” a WWII era heavy cruiser they purchased from the US NAVY. That was sent to the bottom during the Falkland war by a British submarine.

      • EasTexan

        Sunk by an atomic sub using a wire guided torpedo no less. When that happened the Argentine Admiral took the “fleet” up a river and never came out again.

        • El Kabong


          They used a Mk.8 torpedo.

          Ironically, it’s a version of the ones they used in WW2.

  • Alberto Luis Aquino

    I want to thank to the US Navy and NASA for help us to search the
    missing submarine ARA San Juan and its crews of 44 submarines Seilors…

  • Jason Roamer

    I haven’t seen it. I have no idea it is.

  • Rosta

    Hope it’s just a massive communications failure and that’s the extent. And to those either making light of this or saying the US shouldn’t help, shame on you. Our sailors would help the Russians or basically any sailors in need and vice versa. The faceless trolls on the Internet will one day have their comuppance.

    There’s 44 families, countless more friends, an Armada, and a country all worried about their sailors and praying for the best outcome, I share in their prayers.

    • Graniteman31

      re: trolls – right on!

  • Snowmelter

    To protect ignorant snowflakes just like you….

  • Kenny Man

    I really hope they can locate this sub quickly and figure out how to rescue them.

  • kteissere

    Praying for a safe return of the sub and it’s crew. Please God, bring peace to the hearts of the families awaiting word of their loved ones.

  • Joe Boma

    My boy’s a navy nuke. I feel for these folks. I hope god will protect those sailors until they’re found and saved.

  • gene

    Doesn’t sound good… probably not enough money for proper maintenance.

  • TMA1

    God please bring them all home safely…….Well maybe not back to that Communist Cesspool Argentina but at least to a Good Port in the Free World Safely. Amen.

  • bacon flavor

    Not a time for jokes, Fool!

  • Imperator Cydonius

    “MAD detection bearing zero three five, updating contact to Sierra Zero One, come around to bearing two one zero, opening bomb bay doors, Mk 46 on pylon one spun up, dropping now, now now.”

    • Graniteman31

      OH! NO! It’s one of ours…

  • PS

    Pray for their safety.

  • Jennifer Ann Smith

    I truly hope they’re found, and rescued, quickly…very sad.

  • MessiJax

    As a proud American of Argentine family, it’s very touching to read all the support, well wishes and prayers for the lost crew of the Argentine submarine. I’m sharing this article and discussion with friends down in Argentina. Hopefully our great US Navy will find the submarine. Thanks y’all!!

  • Raoul Duke

    Did anyone check Antarctica?

  • john williams

    what a horrible thing to happen!!!!!

  • waveshaper1

    On a another subject; Does anyone know what happened today with the latest 7th fleet destroyer collision?
    It appears that the USS Benfold and a Japanese commercial tug collided. Excerpt (Reuters); The USS Benfold remains at sea under her own power. The Japanese commercial tug is being towed by another vessel to a port in Yokosuka. The incident will be investigated, a statement from the U.S. Seventh Fleet said.

  • Old Navy guy

    Our youngest is a NOAA aviator on loan to NASA for Operation Ice Bridge and is flying the NASA P3 searching for the sub. I hope they locate it and find all is well. This brings back Thresher and Scorpion memories and an unoptimistic outlook. 55 years ago I was an ASW aircrewman in VS-36 flying off the old Randolph in Stoofs looking for subs. Memories.

    • draeger24

      GOD Bless him.

      • Graniteman31

        Thank you. For the blessing and for your own service.

    • Graniteman31

      Ahoy, “Old Navy Guy” I’m an ex-VS-39er. Quonset Pt. 1953-56 My last exercise in the ‘Stoof’ was with the Nautilus & I found her wake with the APS-3x. Got us a ‘kill.’

  • Chesapeakeguy

    My prayers go out to the crew of that sub, and I hope they are found alive. If the worst has happened, my prayers for their loved one and colleagues.

  • Ed L

    Looks like right now a combination of MAD and acoustics is going to be the best way to find the boat

    • Graniteman31

      see my recent post. Why’s a P-8A going there?

      • draeger24

        why not?

        • Graniteman31

          To what depth is airborne MAD useful? Sonobuoys? What other sensors does the P-8 bring into the search for a comm silent sub? Sure it can stay airborne/loiter longer than smaller a/c, but to serve what purpose? Airborne CIC? I guess the Command saw an opportunity for some practice.

          • draeger24

            I’m not sure what tech they have – I’m sure it is better than P-3s…hopefully, they are doing some old SOPs like banging on the hull at intervals, etc. Many of those subs have a rescue beacon punched out…and since they haven’t, they are probably in serious trouble.

          • Graniteman31

            Agreed. Very serious situation. Akin to MH-370: we won’t know what happened until it’s found & entered. Can’t tell from the published report if it was accompanied or not; where is the Last Known Position (LKP)? Etc. Kepp praying. HARDER! Who knows – it might work.

  • El Kabong

    Shoo troll.

    The Falklands were NEVER Argie territory.

  • Walter Adams

    ♫Eternal Father strong to save whose hand has stilled the angry wave
    Who bids the mighty ocean deep its own appointed limits keep
    Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
    For those in peril on the Sea♫

    God be with those souls lost somewhere under the waves.

  • Graniteman31

    “The P-8A Poseidon … can reach an airspeed of 564 mph, has a ceiling of 41,000 feet…” from which altitude it must be able to detect and locate a moving submarine at a depth of 2000 ft. Right. What’s the FL 410 & Mach 0.9 got to do with ASW? Can it troll at 100kts IAS at 50 ft? Or doesn’t it need to like we did in the ’50s in AFs & S2s.

  • Martin JoFX

    I want to thank the US Navy and it’s Sailors for the support in trying to find these 43 missing brothers and a sister at sea. My prayers are with the ARA San Juan’s Crew and with the SAR crews from all nations that are helping in the search.

  • Jim Paul

    As a brother of the phin my prayers are with them in this time of peril and with their families who wait. May the ocean show its mercy to these brave sailors.