Missing sub was in good condition: navy

Aaron Brown
November 26, 2017

Argentina's navy lost contact with the ARA San Juan on November 15 during a routine mission from the port of Ushuaia to Mar del Plata.

He also said that the search will continue around the clock.

For more background, please read the Reuters story.

Many family members are accusing the Navy of sending their loved ones out in vessel, that they say was over 30-years old and was likely not properly maintained.

"We are at a stage of hope and hopelessness at the same time", Balbi told reporters.

Hopes were boosted by the arrival of a giant Russian Antonov transport plane bringing an underwater robot that can scour the ocean at a depth of 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) below the surface.

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Separately, an army of welders worked frantically to create an opening in the stern of the Norwegian offshore supply ship Sophie Siem, owned by the Total oil company, large enough to accomodate an underwater rescue capsule sent by the U.S. navy.

"Two days before setting sail, there was a check of the whole operating system", navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said as a news conference on Saturday. But experts later determined that neither was from the missing sub.

"We feel supported by the people", said Zulma de Vallejos, mother of crew member Celso Oscar Vallejos.

A friend named Carolina said that she spoke to Vilte when his picture appeared in the papers. Another lieutenant replaced him.

Concerns about the crew's fate have set off a fierce political debate in a society sharply divided between supporters of President Mauricio Macri and opposition Peronists, who have been quick to find fault with the government's response.

But Balbi has defended the Argentine navy, saying that "with respect to the maintenance and state of our naval and air units, no unit ever leaves port or takes off if it isn't in operating conditions to navigate or fly with total security".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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