U.S. Navy and NASA Join Search for Missing Argentina Sub With 44 Crew…

The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan has been missing for approximately three days.  Today there were reports of seven attempted transmissions from frequencies that appear to emanate from the sub.  However, they were only a few seconds in duration and no direct communication was possible.

The Argentine’s are asking for help.  The U.S. Navy has dispatched a P8-A Poseidon search aircraft and NASA has changed mission for a close proximity P-3 Orion aircraft that was already in the vicinity.

(CNN) The crew of a missing Argentine military submarine tried contacting naval bases seven times, Argentina’s Defense Ministry said. The calls were made on Saturday to different bases between 10:52 a.m. and 3:42 p.m. and ranged from four to 36 seconds long, the ministry said in a statement to CNN en Español. No communication connection was made.

The navy said the military is working with a US-based company that specializes in satellite communication to determine the location of the submarine, which has been missing for more than three days.

The ARA San Juan submarine and the 44 crew members were traveling through the Atlantic Ocean from a base in far southern Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago to its home port in Mar del Plata. The vessel had been due to arrive at its destination Sunday.

The submarine 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 bases. (read more)

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96 Responses to U.S. Navy and NASA Join Search for Missing Argentina Sub With 44 Crew…

  1. YvonneMarie says:

    Dear St Anthony…

    Liked by 18 people

  2. Heavenly Father, we pray that you would bring this crew safely home.

    In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

    Liked by 60 people

  3. M. Mueller says:

    Prayers for the safe recovery of all on board.

    With everything having GPS, how can it be that no one knows where they are?

    Liked by 15 people

    • rf121 says:

      Still have not found that Malasia airline. It is a big ocean. As long as it did not suffer a catastrophic failure and the water is not to deep there is still a chance. USN will find it but it will be a race against the clock.

      Liked by 16 people

    • Keln says:

      GPS is no good if the boat has no power. You can surface without electricity, but without it, no communications. If the batteries and powerplant are not in working order and they don’t have sat phones or some other backup means of sending a transmission, they could be a floating speck in a huge sea waiting to be found.

      The best case is they are floating at least. Blowing ballast can get a boat topside. After that, without any power, they are basically a large life raft.

      Liked by 19 people

      • nimrodman says:

        Aside from their first-line communications, I’d expect they’d have a couple EPIRBs for last-ditch emergency beaconing.

        Liked by 7 people

      • millwright says:

        Keln, They’re down ! And it seems whatever causality occurred, its preventing them from surfacing . Considering the multiple levels of systems in a modern boat, that means serious damage or circumstances preventing surviving crew from raising ship !

        Liked by 2 people

        • Keln says:

          I was trying to stay positive. But yeah. Last reports I saw, some sat transmissions got through, but probably from floaters launched that have GPS chips or something on them. Means they might be down. But if they are making attempts it means they are alive, possibly have electricity, and hopefully have scrubbers still operational. O2 canisters probably broken out at this point, so it is a time game.

          They can use what transmission came out to pinpoint a location I think.

          GPS was still a new thing when I was on an LA class, so I am not even sure what these german diesel boats can do nowadays.

          The frightening thing is, if they can’t get to the surface, they’ve lost their pressurized air somehow to purge ballast. That suggests an explosion or something that could have penetrated those tanks. At first I was thinking a fire that fried electrical, but in that scenario, they could still mechanically blow ballast and surface. But if that’s not the case, something really bad happened.

          Liked by 6 people

          • millwright says:

            Keln, D-Es ( like our old fleet boats ) are vulnerable to hydrogen gas buildup during charging cycles ( even your LA-class boat had big batteries ) so I’m increasingly suspecting a hydrogen gas explosion and sea water into the battery which means chlorine gas in the boat and no electrical power ! May also mean surviving crew is isolated from the main control panels for buoyancy .

            Liked by 3 people

    • Blue Ridge Mts Va. says:

      Sometimes you can’t count on the electronic gizmos. I have read that our Navy is teaching once again celestial navigation and old-fashioned dead reckoning using an old-timey sextant. I think it’s cool to have these skills. Like knowing how to use a compass instead of using a GPS.

      Liked by 12 people

      • millwright says:

        When your enemy “takes down” your Gee Whiz gadgets, you’d best have a back up plan !

        Liked by 5 people

      • Keln says:

        Even when I was on, we did not 100% fully depend on electronic gizmos, as you put it. Not even with reactor safety. At the most basic level we depended on things like gravity that never fail. Or just pure mechanical manipulation (moving something by hand).

        Liked by 5 people

      • repsort says:

        Like knowing how to stand upright, walk and run before jumping on the Segway.

        Liked by 3 people

      • L. Gee says:

        Or how about just knowing where the constellations are at certain times of the year and night–better than a compass, which you may or may not have on hand!

        I’m astounded at the number of people I meet who can’t even tell you the points of the compass in broad daylight while standing in their own front yard and with the sun coming up!

        Liked by 3 people

    • joninmd22 says:

      The submariners job is to be invisible.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Keith Bowen says:

      GPS doesn’t work under water. Rough weather/ 20 foot seas serious complication.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. thinkthinkthink says:

    Mark 10:27
    Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible,
    but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

    We invite our Yes and Amen God into THIS.

    Liked by 32 people

  5. Joe Collins says:

    Eternal Father, strong to save,
    Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
    Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
    Its own appointed limits keep;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

    Liked by 37 people

  6. Keln says:

    This is pretty much the nightmare scenario for any submariner. We always knew that if something goes wrong it’s pretty much going wrong for everyone on the boat. There have thankfully been very few since WWII that have had to enter the rolls of the Eternal Patrol, and I hope it is not the case with these guys.

    The best we can hope for is they are bobbing topside dead in the water and a loss of power and comms while just waiting for someone to find them.

    May God be with them and they be found alive. In either case, the Navy Hymn is always relevant.

    Liked by 29 people

  7. joeknuckles says:

    Ok, I’ll say it. Our navy is bound to run into it sooner or later.

    Liked by 20 people

  8. millwright says:

    Latest info I have is the sub has been located in 70 meters of water off the coast of Patagonia . The USN is ( or so I heard ) sending its DSRV to the scene . The local sea state is reported as waves of 9 meters which is likely to hamper surface operations. I believe the ARA San Juan is German built D-E ( diesel-electric ) boat that’s recently seen a refit. But the sea is a hostile environment for submariners and they’re down in one of the worst ! Prayers for the crew ! They could survive for some time, ( or perhaps not ) , it all depends upon the nature of their casualty.

    Liked by 16 people

  9. POP says:

    “located in 70 meters of water.”

    Not so bad.
    Been to 180′ with SCUBA.
    30′ seas is bad.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. millwright says:

    Still On Patrol :
    During World War II[edit]
    During World War II, the U.S. Navy’s submarine service suffered the highest casualty percentage of all the American armed forces, losing one in five submariners.[3] Some 16,000 submariners served during the war, of whom 375 officers and 3131 enlisted men were killed.[4]

    Fifty-two submarines of the United States Navy were lost during World War II.[5] Two — Dorado (SS-248) and Seawolf (SS-197)—were lost to friendly fire (with S-26 (SS-131) probably additional friendly fire, as the collision with USS Sturdy (PC-460) appears due to being mistaken for a U-boat), at least two more –Tulibee and Tang—to defective torpedoes, and six to accident or grounding.[6]

    Another eight submarines went missing while on patrol and are presumed to have been sunk by Japanese mines, as there were no recorded Japanese anti-submarine attacks in their patrol areas. The other thirty-three lost submarines are known to have been sunk by the Japanese.

    Ship name Hull number Date of loss Cause Approximate location
    Albacore SS-218 7 November 1944 Lost to enemy mine Northeast of Hokkaido
    Amberjack SS-219 16 February 1943 Lost to enemy action by torpedo boat Hiyodori and submarine chaser No. 18 New Britain
    Argonaut SM-1 10 January 1943 Lost to enemy action by destroyers Isokaze and Maikaze New Britain
    Barbel SS-316 4 February 1945 Lost to enemy air attack Borneo
    Bonefish SS-223 19 June 1945 Lost to enemy action, depth-charged by kaibokan Okinawa, CD-63, CD-75, CD-158, and CD-207 Sea of Japan
    Bullhead SS-332 6 August 1945 Lost to enemy air attack; last US submarine loss of the war Java Sea
    Capelin SS-289 Lost after 2 December 1943 Cause unknown, possibly naval mine or attack by minelayer Wakataka Celebes Sea
    Cisco SS-290 28 September 1943 Lost to air attack and gunboat Karatsu (ex-USS Luzon) Mindanao
    Corvina SS-226 16 November 1943 Torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-176 Truk
    Darter SS-227 24 October 1944 Accidental grounding in pursuit of Japanese cruiser Takao Palawan Passage
    Dorado SS-248 15 October 1943 Sunk by friendly fire air attack (PBM Mariner of Patrol Squadron 210) or possibly mines laid by U-214 Panama Canal Zone
    Escolar SS-294 Lost between 17 October and 13 November 1944 Cause unknown, probably naval mine Yellow Sea
    Flier SS-250 12 August 1944 Sunk by naval mine Balabac Strait, Philippines
    Golet SS-361 14 June 1944 Lost to enemy action by escorts Miya Maru and Bunzan Maru Northern Japanese waters
    Grampus SS-207 5 March 1943 Lost to enemy action by destroyers Minegumo and Murasame, or possibly to air attack by 958th Kōkūtai naval aircraft New Britain
    Grayback SS-208 27 February 1944 Lost to enemy air attack Ryukyu Islands
    Grayling SS-209 Lost between 9 and 12 September 1943 Cause unknown; possibly rammed by transport Hokuan Maru Lingayen Gulf, Philippines
    Grenadier SS-210 21 April 1943 Flipped Over and Sank Strait of Malacca
    Growler SS-215 8 November 1944 Lost to enemy action by destroyer Shigure and two other escorts Philippines
    Grunion SS-216 30 July 1942 Cause unknown; possibly rammed by merchant ship Kano Maru Kiska Island, Alaska
    Gudgeon SS-211 18 April 1944 Cause unknown; possibly air attack Maug Islands or possibly Iwo Jima[7]
    Harder SS-257 24 August 1944 Lost to enemy action by kaibokan CD-22 Dasol Bay, Philippines
    Herring SS-233 1 June 1944 Lost to enemy shore batteries Kurile Islands
    Kete SS-369 Lost between 19 and 31 March 1945 Cause unknown; possibly enemy submarine or mines Ryukyu Islands
    Lagarto SS-371 3 May 1945 Lost to enemy action by Japanese minelayer Hatsutaka Gulf of Thailand
    Perch SS-176 3 March 1942 Scuttled following enemy action by Japanese destroyer Ushio Java
    Pickerel SS-177 Lost between 3 and 30 April 1943 Cause unknown; possible enemy actions include one by minelayer Shirakami and auxiliary subchaser Bunzan Maru on 3 April 1943 Northern Honshu
    Pompano SS-181 Lost between 17 September and 30 October 1943 Cause unknown; possibly naval mine or enemy action Northern Honshu
    R-12 SS-89 12 June 1943 Cause unknown; foundered on training exercise off Key West, Florida
    Robalo SS-273 26 July 1944 Cause unknown; probably naval mine West of Palawan Island
    Runner SS-275 Lost between 26 June and 15 July 1943 Cause unknown; possibly naval mine Hokkaido
    S-26 SS-131 24 January 1942 probably mistaken for a U-boat and rammed by USS Sturdy (PC-460) Gulf of Panama
    S-27 SS-132 19 June 1942 Accidental grounding Amchitka Island, Alaska
    S-28 SS-133 4 July 1944 Lost during anti-submarine exercise Oahu, Hawaii
    S-36 SS-141 20 January 1942 Accidental grounding Makassar Strait
    S-39 SS-144 14 August 1942 Accidental grounding Rossel Island
    S-44 SS-155 7 October 1943 Enemy action by Japanese escort Ishigaki Kurile Islands
    Scamp SS-277 11 November 1944 Enemy action by kaibokan CD-4 and aircraft Tokyo Bay
    Scorpion SS-278 Lost between 6 and 30 January 1944 Cause unknown; probably naval mine East China Sea
    Sculpin SS-191 19 November 1943 Scuttled following enemy action by Japanese destroyer Yamagumo Gilbert Islands
    Sealion SS-195 10 December 1941 Scuttled 25 December 1941 following irreparable damage in air attack 10 December Cavite Navy Yard, Philippines
    Seawolf SS-197 4 October 1944 Probably sunk by “friendly fire” from USS Richard M. Rowell (DE-403) Morotai Island
    Shark SS-174 Lost between 8 February and 7 March 1942 Cause unknown; possibly sunk by Japanese destroyer Yamakaze or other enemy action Molucca Sea
    Shark SS-314 24 October 1944 Lost to enemy action by Japanese destroyer Harukaze Luzon Strait
    Snook SS-279 Lost between 9 and 20 April 1945 Cause unknown; possibly enemy action by 4 escorts with aircraft or 1 submarine South China Sea
    Swordfish SS-193 Lost between 9 and 30 January 1945 Cause unknown; possibly enemy action or naval mine Ryukyu Islands
    Tang SS-306 25 October 1944 Sunk by circular run of own torpedo Formosa Strait
    Trigger SS-237 28 March 1945 Lost to enemy action by kaibokan Mikura, CD-33, and CD-59; assisted by air attack Ryukyu Islands
    Triton SS-201 15 March 1943 Cause unknown; probably enemy action Admiralty Islands
    Trout SS-202 29 February 1944 Cause unknown; probably enemy action by Japanese destroyer Asashimo Okinawa
    Tullibee SS-284 26 March 1944 Sunk by circular run of own torpedo Palau Islands
    Wahoo SS-238 11 October 1943 Lost to air and surface attack by submarine chasers CH-15, CH-43 and 3 E13A1 Jakes La Perouse Strait

    Liked by 17 people

    • zephyrbreeze says:

      This is what our kids should learn in schools. Thanks for this.

      Liked by 17 people

    • MAGA Happy Boy says:

      Thank you for this roll call of our countrymen who served in the silent service!

      Liked by 6 people

    • Keln says:

      The Eternal Patrol. There were memorials for these guys all over sub base Pearl Harbor when I was there.

      Let’s not forget the sheer amount of tonnage US Navy submarines accounted for in that war, not to mention doing so while spending most of the war firing dud torps.

      Liked by 7 people

      • millwright says:

        Keln, There are at least two flag officers i want dig up and burn their remains for the catastrophic consequences of the “Torpedo Club” s putting a weapon with a 50% performance trial success rate into service ! Then there’s the “magnetic exploder” debacle and the Navy’s permitting its designer to keep his flag and require “his boats” to use them . Not only did it destroy the reputations and careers of some good sub skippers it led to a “sub rosa ” mutiny where sailing boats disabled the feature and re-enabled it on any torps they brought back . Worse was the abysmal QA/QC of torpedo steering and depth-keeping engines out of Groton, CT shops. The “contact exploder” debacle was a completely separate ( and perhaps worse ) issue requiring “field testing and fixes” in wartime conditions. We don’t really know how many US Submariners lost their lives to poor torpedo performance but my readings over fifty years indicates it was too many !

        Liked by 6 people

  11. JohnnyII says:

    Sea depth of the gulf and water temeperature from everipedia:

    The San Jorge Gulf (Golfo San Jorge) is a bay in southern Patagonia, Argentina. It is an ocean basin opening to the Atlantic. Its shoreline spans Chubut and Santa Cruz province. The gulf measures approximately 142 miles (229 km) at its mouth and covers approximately 39 square kilometres (15 sq mi). It is located between Cape Dos Bahías and Cape Tres Puntas.

    Due to its geography, more than 70% of the gulf’s basin is between 70 metres (230 ft) and 100 metres (328 ft) deep. To the south it is about 50 metres (164 ft) 60 metres (197 ft) deep and in the north 90 metres (295 ft). The seabed was formed by bivalves and cirripedial remains, and it consists of mud, sand, gravel, and sand with carbonate.

    The mean water temperature varies between 5.09 °C (41 °F) and 13.41 °C (56 °F); salinity is around 33000 ppm.


    Liked by 3 people

  12. zephyrbreeze says:

    I’m already having nightmares. God bless, these poor souls and their families.

    Liked by 4 people


    Liked by 11 people

  14. JohnnyII says:

    http://www.passageweather.com/ for surface wind and wave charts. Just click the map to isolae the Atlantic off their coast. Argentina is UTC -3 so it’s just past 4 a.m there and the sunrise is about 0540.


    Liked by 1 person

  15. snailmailtrucker says:

    The calls were made on Saturday to different bases between 10:52 a.m. and 3:42 p.m. and ranged from four to 36 seconds long, the ministry said in a statement to CNN en Español.

    They communicated with CNN…. There’s Part of the Problem !

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Deplorable_Vespucciland says:

    Since it hasn’t been brought up yet; can anyone explain why Argentina needs to have submarines on patrol? Would venture a guess that there’s a 50-50 chance that ship had Chinese crew members onboard. What exactly was their mission? Hopefully they will be found alive and well, then we may get some answers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • POP says:

      Argentina still has a military posture towards the Falkland Islands.
      That didn’t work out too well last time.


    • millwright says:

      Doesn’t need an “explanation” ! Argentina is a sovereign nation entitled to protect and defend its littoral waters . D-E boats are an excellent way to perform that duty !

      Liked by 6 people

      • Deplorable_Vespucciland says:

        Thanks. That is a good enough explanation as any. Guess if they have bought those 3 subs (2 built in the ’80s and one from the ’70s) they may as well use them for something. The “mighty” Brazilian Navy north of them has 5 so maybe there is some political neighborhood posturing going on? We wish them luck!


    • joninmd22 says:

      More likely it’s a normal patrol or training mission. The Argintine navy is in a terrible state of neglect and Maintenance corners get cut which should never happen with submarines.

      Please Lord, watch over the men and bring them to safe harbor.

      Liked by 5 people

  17. Lauren says:

    So I have a strange fascination with submarines and I’ve read a lot about them. This particular sub was laid down in 1982 and went through an update from 2008 to 2013. There are so many things that can go wrong with submarines, any thing from a torpedo explosion to hull implosion. From news accounts it was a base to base trip along the coast of Argentina and they probably didn’t hit crush depth conditions in the ocean. If they are lost, I hope their end was painless. But with newly updated features, maybe the submarine is resting at bottom awaiting rescue. We just don’t know yet.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Texian says:

    The report lists the basic minimum depth rating of the Gulf of San Jorge, 70 meters. Don’t rely on it. From the general map location they are right on the edge of the shelf, I estimate it at 300 to 800 feet of depth near the edge, then drops off into the thousands.

    If they are down there, I know who the U.S. Navy would’ve called.. but this particular company is not in the deep sea business anymore and the legends have all retired by now..

    A few of my senior ranks were there. Unsung heroes they were.. many times over. This one’s become somewhat unclassified.. rest assured there are others that are still under wraps.. Global Marine headed up this one because of its link to Howard Hughes and his deep pocket investment in the customization of the vessel Glomar Explorer for the mission. As far as the crew the best of the best were contracted from all the major American underwater contractors in the market.. same with the investigation of the Glomar Java Sea.. some of them were my supervisors as well..

    Liked by 4 people

    • The Boss says:

      I remember the pretext / cover story (deep sea manganese nodule mining), the hype about the Hughes Glomar Explorer as it was being built, and years later being so amazed at how we pulled this off. The disinformation worked like a charm.

      Who’s to say we can’t do something like this again? Who’s to say something like this is not already underway? Connect the dots, folks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Texian says:

        It takes pioneers, men with the “right stuff” to do such things..

        In the Gulf of Mexico it is easy to make cover.. The German sub U-166 was found by BP/Shell in about 5200 fsw recently.. It was touted that it was “the only German U-boat sunk in the Gulf of Mexico..”. Ha!.. Hey look over there.. narwhals..

        Liked by 1 person

  19. millwright says:

    Lauren; Losing depth control in deep water is a relatively quick death. When hull integrity fails ( usually aft around the screw(s) ) the resultant “water ram” overpressure ignites everything flammable ( including sailors ) just like in a diesel ignition sequence resulting in an explosion hence the oft-noted “underwater flash” when surface ships sank a U-boat in WW2 . At an alleged 70 meters depth this isn’t going to be the fate of the San Juan’s crew .

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Homesteader says:

    Thy mercy, Lord! Please. Saint Raphael, please assist us on this need and deliver these people safely as thou once safely delivered the servant Tobias. Amen.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. bullnuke says:

    Praying for the crew. Sub life is rough. We all knew there was always a chance for this type of catastrophe but it stayed in the back of our minds, never to be spoken of.

    Liked by 4 people

    • auscitizenmom says:

      I worked with a man from Germany. He was a German submarine sailor during WW2. He said it wasn’t a choice. He also told me the Germans subs were not set up to make sailors comfortable. It was very cold and miserable. I would imagine this one is too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • RyderLee says:

      This is all very scary to hear , and sad , especially around the Holidays .
      Praying for a Lives Saved outcome for the submarine crew .
      To All Contributors of this thread , Thank You .
      I’ve read a lot about WWll , though I know little
      about submarines . I appreciate All the Knowledge you are
      sharing here tonight ,,, and sounding like a lot of
      First Hand Smarts 💌! Godspeed the Submariners . 💖


  22. 100% YOOPER says:


    Liked by 2 people

  23. Big Jake says:

    Reminiscent of the Kursk.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. H.R. says:

    I would sure like to hear some good news about the sub and its crew sometime today.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. Lauren says:

    Just wanted to add….
    In the book Blind Man’s Bluff which is about submarine espionage, the CIA created a crane ship for the purpose of raising a sunken Soviet submarine. Seriously. If that ship is still around, maybe the US government could help with raising the Argentinian submarine. The Soviet submarine Kursk was raised in 2001 with the assistance of a company called Mammoet (I think.) And yeah, I have a strange fascination with submarines.


  26. itsy_bitsy says:

    And when the U.S. Navy finishes that search, maybe they can spend a little time trying to figure out how to navigate in a way that doesn’t allow other ships to ram them. I think we have had at least 3 or 4 of these incidents, which include deaths. Are the navigators being dumbed down in order to allow “more” applicants, or is the entire Navy being dumbed down to be sure that diversity rules! I’m afraid that is the case, and if it is then some changes had better take place post haste!


  27. 100% YOOPER says:

    November 19, 2017
    MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina — After an initial burst of optimism that they might be closer to finding a submarine that has been missing since Wednesday, the Argentine authorities on Sunday began expressing caution as fears grew about the fate of the 44 crew members.


  28. 100% YOOPER says:


    “The vessel surfaced and it reported a breakdown,” naval commander Gabriel Galeazzi said.

    He did not give further details of the nature of the breakdown.

    This is the first time that an official has mentioned the sub encountering mechanical problems.

    However, the brother of a crew member had earlier told local media that in a message before communications were lost his sibling had mentioned that the vessel was having problems with its batteries.

    US satellite company Iridium had earlier said that the submarine carried one of its satellite phones on board.

    But the company said that the seven signals did not come through its network and, on Monday, navy spokesman Enrique Balbi confirmed the attempted calls “did not come from the submarine’s satellite phone”.


  29. wondering999 says:

    Still praying for a miracle. Lord watch over the submarine crewmen and their families


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