Royal Navy casts off Falklands enmity to hunt for lost Argentine submarine

Royal Navy casts off Falklands enmity to hunt for lost Argentine submarine

Helping to search for the ARA San Juan are Chile, Brazil, the USA, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Uruguay and Peru, although other countries have offered their cooperation in the search and rescue operation, Argentine Defence Minister Oscar Aguad confirmed on Saturday, Efe news reported.

Seven signal pings believed to be from the submarine ARA San Juan, which has been missing since Wednesday when communications broke down, are giving Argentine officials hope that the crew can still be saved.

An Argentine destroyer and two corvettes are conducting a search around the area of the sub's last known position off the south-eastern Valdez peninsula.

U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) directed the deployment of this equipment and personnel to Argentina to support the country's request for worldwide assistance aimed at locating the missing submarine and crew.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri said on his Twitter account that "we will do what is necessary to find the submarine as soon as possible".

"The calls are being analyzed, but we do not have clear evidence that they came from that unit", said Gabriel Gonzales, who is in charge of the base where the submarine was slated to arrive Sunday, according to state-run news agency Télam. Authorities have mainly been scanning the sea from above as the storm made the search hard for boats, navy Admiral Gabriel Gonzalez told reporters.

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The Argentine Navy continues to coordinate with worldwide allies in the search for its submarine, a media report said.

It is thought that the submarine may have had communication difficulties caused by a power cut.

Argentine-born Pope Francis mentioned the missing vessel in his Sunday noon prayer.

Navy protocol dictates that a vessel should come to the surface if communication has been lost.

Authorities last had contact with the German-built diesel sub last Wednesday as it was on a voyage from the extreme southern port of Ushuaia to Mar del Plata with 44 crew members aboard.