ARGENTINA — Argentina’s navy on Monday picked up what could be noises from the country’s missing submarine.
The sonar systems of two ships 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 vessel.
The official said that crews of submarines in distress bang on the vessel’s hull to alert passing ships to their location.
The Argentinian navy was able to fix the rough location of the sounds and is now concentrating its search in a 35-square-nautical-mile area, approximately 330 miles off the coast of Argentina, the official said.
A US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft, also known as a submarine hunter, is now assisting in the search area. The 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 Argentinian military has been working with a US company that specializes in satellite communication to determine the location of the submarine.
The ARA San Juan submarine and its 44 crew members were traveling from a base in southern Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago to their home port in Mar del Plata. The sub was scheduled to arrive Sunday.
It was last spotted Wednesday in the San Jorge Gulf, a few hundred kilometers off the coast of southern Argentina’s Patagonia region and nearly midway between the two bases.
Southern Argentina’s Patagonia coast is notorious for strong storms.