Brothers and Sisters,
The search is still on for our neighbor's boat. All of us in the International Community of Submariners are praying for a good result of that rescue mission. Argentina is a member of the International Submariners Association, and they do attend the congresses.
Those, which have gone down to the sea in a submersible ship know all too well that this could be one of us fighting for our lives. Using our skills and experience to beat once again the odds of ending up in Davy Jone’s locker. Our prayers are that the sea is so rough that they are keeping their heads down in hopes of riding it out.
An Argentinian national flag with messages in support of the 44 crew members of the missing ARA San Juan submarine at the Mar del Plata naval base. Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters
(CNN)Sounds, which were detected during the search for a missing Argentine navy submarine did not come from the vessel; the navy said late Monday.
Noises that had been detected earlier Monday were thought to be a possible distress signal from the crew of the sub.
A US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft was brought to the area to record an acoustic footprint of the sound, but analysis of the file determined the noises were not from the missing vessel, Argentine navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said from Buenos Aires.
The noises were possibly from the ocean, or marine life and two vessels searching for the sub had heard a "noise" at a depth of about 656 feet. The location of the noise coincided with the route the submarine would have taken on the way to its home port in Mar del Plata.
The sonar systems of the two ships had detected noises sounding like tools being banged against the hull of a submarine, according to a senior US Navy official familiar with the Navy's assistance in the search for the Argentine vessel. The official said that crews of submarines in distress bang on the vessel's hull to alert passing ships to their location.
The missing submarine -- ARA San Juan -- has a crew of 44. The sub was heading from a base in southern Argentina's Tierra del Fuego archipelago to Mar del Plata. It was scheduled to arrive there Sunday.
'Failure' reported in the vessel's battery system
The vessel's captain reported a "failure" in the vessel's battery system shortly before it disappeared last week, Navy spokesman Gabriel Galeazzi said.
After he reported the sub had experienced a "short circuit," he was told to "change course and return to Mar del Plata," said Galeazzi.
This type of problem is considered routine, and the vessel's crew was reported safe, he added.
The Argentine navy had one more communication with the captain before the sub went missing, said Galeazzi. The Navy did not give details of the content of that final communication.
On Saturday, seven reported communication attempts were initially believed to originate from the San Juan -- but on Monday officials said the radio calls had not come from the missing sub.
The last confirmed contact with the submarine was Wednesday, the Argentine navy said.
The US official said that the waters of the Atlantic Ocean where the sounds originated are extremely deep. The official stressed that search efforts thus far have yet to locate the submarine.
The Argentine military has also been working with a US company that specializes in satellite communication to determine the location of the submarine.
The search area, off the Patagonia coast, is notorious for strong storms.
Clock is ticking
In the "worst-case scenario," the missing sub could run out of oxygen in two days, Balbi said.
Under normal circumstances, the vessel has sufficient fuel, water, oil and oxygen to operate for 90 days without external help, Balbi said, and the vessel could "snorkel" -- or raise a tube to the surface -- "to charge batteries and draw fresh air for the crew."
If the sub is bobbing adrift on the surface and the hatch is open, it will have an available air supply and enough food for about 30 days, he said.
If it is immersed and cannot raise a snorkel, oxygen may last about seven days. When the sub last made contact on Wednesday, five days ago, it was immersed, Balbi said.
"This phase of search and rescue is critical," Balbi said. "This is why we are deploying all resources with high-tech sensors. We welcome the help we have received to find them."
A large number of international ships and airplanes, including a British polar exploration vessel, are braving strong winds and six-meter high waves in the area off the coast of Patagonia where the submarine was lost.
The rough conditions were shown in footage posted online by the Argentinian navy on Monday. “These were the meteorological conditions and the state of the sea yesterday in the search and rescue operations zone,” the navy tweeted.
The US Navy has also joined the search, deploying unmanned submersibles and airplanes to the South Atlantic.
Two US air force planes landed in the southern coastal city of Comodoro Rivadavia on Sunday carrying a US Navy submarine rescue team, including a mini-sub, a submersible rescue vehicle and a remote control unmanned submersible equipped with video cameras.
A British Royal Navy Hercules C-130 plane and the HMS Protector, ice patrol ship, are also participating in the rescue effort.
Mauricio Macri met relatives of the crew at the Mar del Plata naval base on Monday morning. The president said on Twitter that the government was “deploying all possible national and international resources to find [the crewmembers] as soon as possible.”
But the wait is taking its toll on the relatives of the missing submariners. “Every day is leading us closer to a sad ending, regrettably,” Carlos Mendoza, brother of crew member Fernando Ariel Mendoza told the Infobae website. “It’s sad, but we have to be realistic.”
Karina Vargas, the wife of crew member Cayetano Vargas, told the local newspaper San Juan 8 that she had seen her husband in a dream after the submarine had left Ushuaia.
“I’ve never had a bad feeling before, but this time I saw him arriving at home before time. He said hello, and I made a joke about asking him to look after the boys so I could go out.”
Other family members have used social media to ask for support during the search.
“Pray so that my husband Fernando Santilli can return home,” Jesica Gopar said on Twitter. “He’s on the San Juan submarine.”
In another message, she tweeted a picture of her missing husband, with the message: “Your son and I are waiting for you. I love you.”