Missing Submarine in Libya

Jack Smith, News Reporter

On November 15 an Argentine Naval submarine named the ARA San Juan went missing. Officials say that there was an explosion near it last known location. Forty-four crew members were on board at the time of its disappearance. As time draws on and on the chances of anyone actually surviving grow slimmer and slimmer.

“Given … the amount of time that has passed, the extreme and adverse conditions that I have been discussing, we have inferred that there is no chance of survival,” spokesman Enrique Balbi said.

Still, the search for the ARA San Juan, he said, remains an “active one” more than two weeks after it disappeared off Argentina’s coast.

“We are using all means at our disposal, both national and foreign, in the search,” Balbi said. “This will obviously be key in order to conduct our investigation.”

The United States and Russian militaries, as well as many others, are working together to try to find the submarine. The ARA San Juan disappeared about midway on its journey from Ushuaia in the country’s south and its northern port of Mar del Plata. At the height of the search, 28 ships and nine airplanes from 11 nations — including the United States and United Kingdom — scoured a roughly 40,000-square-kilometer area of the sea, backed by more than 4,000 people.

They have each sent unmanned submarines to help find the Argentine submarine. They will search anywhere from depths of 6,000 meters below sea level to as low as 19,685 meters below sea level. Before vanishing, the submarine’s last known location was a few hundred meters of the coast of Argentina. Ten hours prior to disappearing, the battery onboard was quickly fleeting.

There are many different ideas circling as to why the submarine disappeared, but one that keeps surfacing is corruption.

“We don’t have clear evidence but there are suspicions that point to corruption,” Aguad said, adding that repairs on the vessel that were supposed to take two years instead took five years.

Family members are still holding onto hope. They want the search to continue. They believe that their loved ones are still out there and they want to find them. “We feel that they are still alive,” one woman told CNN affiliate Todo Noticias at that time. “Please do not suspend the rescue.”

Others just want closure.

“We already have resigned ourselves that they could be dead because of all the time that has gone,” another woman told Todo Noticias. “We have to see that as a possibility.”

Added Alvarez: “We want to see the bodies because we need to grieve.”

It is a very hard time in Argentina at the moment. This is a major disgrace to their military and it is shedding light on the corruption within their government. The search will continue for the lost submarine and its crew. Although the chance of finding the submarine is slim, it is necessary for the families and the country to continue to look.

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