BUENOS AIRES, November 26 – A ship that is to deliver Russian submersibles to the to the area of search for the distressed Argentine submarine San Juan cannot leave the port because of unfavorable weather, Enrique Balbi, a spokesman for the Argentine Navy said on Sunday.
“The Robinson corvette could not moor because of unfavorable weather, with wind gusts of 50-60 kilometers per hour. So, the ship is waiting for the wind to abate to call at the port where it will take on one of the two unmanned submersibles provided by Russia,” he said.
According to Balbi, the other submersible will be loaded onto the Islas Malvinas vessel that has arrived from Antarctic to Argentina’s southernmost city of Ushuaia and is to sail off to Comodoro Rivadavia, where a Russian An-124 plane brought a team of Russian naval specialists and equipment.
The Russian Defense Ministry earlier reported that upon the instruction from President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu had ordered to dispatch a group of experts from the Navy’s 328th expedition search and rescue unit to Argentina along with the Pantera Plus unmanned submersible, as well as the Russian Navy’s Yantar oceanographic research vessel.
The group of specialists from the rescue detachment of the Russian Navy includes the crew of the Pantera Plus unmanned remote-control descent capsule, deep-water divers, and an undersea physician.
The Argentine Foreign Ministry says twelve countries Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Norway, Peru, Spain, the U.S., the UK, and Uruguay – have taken part in the operation. Russia offered its assistance on Wednesday.
ARA San Juan, a diesel-electric powered submarine with a 44-strong crew aboard, stopped responding to radio communications on November 15. The Argentine Navy said an intensive search for it began in the night hours of November 16.
On Thursday, Balbi said Argentina had received information on an abnormal solitary powerful non-nuclear accident that equaled an explosion, registered in the search area on the day of the last communication with the distressed submarine. – TASS