Argentine navy says submarine missing

2017-11-17 18:33
This undated photo provided by the Argentina Navy shows the San Juan near Buenos Aires. (AP)

This undated photo provided by the Argentina Navy shows the San Juan near Buenos Aires. (AP)

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Buenos Aires - Argentina's navy said on Friday that it had launched a search operation for one of its submarines with a crew of 44 which has been reported missing off the south coast.

The navy said it had not had contact with the submarine, the San Juan, for 48 hours.

"We have not been able to find, or have visual or radar communication with the submarine," said navy spokesperson Enrique Balbi.

The TR-1700 class diesel electric submarine had been returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia near the southernmost tip of South America, to its base at Mar del Plata, around 400km south of Buenos Aires.

The San Juan's last contact with the navy command was on Wednesday morning, Balbi said.

Argentina said it launched an air and sea search involving a destroyer and two corvettes.

An initial search in an area around the sub's last known position, some 430km off the southeastern Valdez peninsula, provided no clues.

The San Juan sailed 10 days ago from Mar del Plata to Ushuaia. It spent three days there before heading off on the return voyage, Balbi said.

"It was heading back to base in Mar del Plata".

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