Rescue mission for missing submarine still ongoing

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Rescuers searching for an Argentine navy submarine that went missing in the South Atlantic almost a week ago with 44 crew aboard were expected to be able to pick up the pace on Tuesday as fierce weather abated.

Ships and aircraft from at least seven nations have been scouring parts of the South Atlantic for the sub.

A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft assisted in the search efforts by deploying its first aircraft on November 18 and a second ship with special tracking equipment and deep-sea rescue modules on November 20, the US Air Force stated.

The crew of the ARA San Juan have not been heard from in five days since reporting an electrical malfunction. The oxygen situation could be helped, even if the vessel bobs adrift on the surface with the hatch open. The vessel was submerged when the navy last made contact with it, and Tuesday marks the sixth full day of its disappearance. "This phase of search and rescue is critical", said Balbi. "This is why we are deploying all resources with high-tech sensors".

Authorities last had contact with the German-built, diesel-electric sub on Wednesday as it was sailing from the extreme southern port of Ushuaia to Mar del Plata.

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The vessel, with 44 submariners on board, reported an electrical problem and was headed back to its base in the port of Mar del Plata when it disappeared last Wednesday, the navy said.

In the message, he reportedly said the sub was heading towards Mar del Plata with all 44 crew members in ideal health.

"A warship has a lot of backup systems, to allow it to move from one to another when there is a breakdown", Galeazzi said. The navy did not give details of its content.

However, Argentina's navy will take advantage of better weather conditions Tuesday and continue searching for the submarine. "We are analyzing more closely to reliably determine that they were not calls coming from the submarine". If the vessel is resting on Argentina's continental shelf, it is likely in waters shallower than this, but if it's farther out into the Atlantic Ocean, it could be below its "crush depth" in which the hull buckles under pressure.

Rescue teams from Argentina, the United States, Britain, Chile and Brazil have joined the search effort. However, the raft's brand and lettering suggest it did not belong to the submarine, and the flares the submarine was equipped with are red, Balbi said. Search workers also detected white flares, but later ruled them out as evidence the missing sub was near.