Ship carrying Russian mini-sub arrives at Argentine port

COMODORO RIVADAVIA /Argentina/, November 30 – The Islas Malvinas vessel of the Argentine Navy that will take a Russian submersible and other equipment to the zone of search for the missing submarine San Juan, arrived at the Argentine port city of Comodoro Rivadavia on Wednesday evening.

According to the Argentine Navy, The Islas Malvinas will deliver to the search area a remote-controlled submersible used for search missions at a depth of up to 1,000 meters. The vessel may be ready to sail off on Thursday.

Early on Tuesday, the Robinson corvette of the Argentine Navy, carrying the first batch of Russian search and rescue equipment, headed to the search area. According to the Navy, the corvette carries a small submersible capable of diving to the depth of up to 300 meters. It also carries Russian specialists accompanied by a translator.

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.

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. A search and rescue operation was launched on the following day.

At present, the search and rescue operation is being held in the area where, according to the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, an explosion was registered on the day the submarine went missing. – TASS