HMS Protector is joining the search for an Argentine Navy submarine that has been out of contact for days.
On the 17th of November 2017 it was announced that San Juan had not been heard from for over 48 hours and that search and rescue operations had been launched some 200 nautical miles southeast of San Jorge Gulf.
The contact was lost when the submarine was en route from the Ushuaia naval base to the Mar del Plata base.
Argentine Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told a news conference:
“We have not been able to find, or have visual or radar communication with the submarine.”
Protocol in the Argentine Navy dictates that a submarine must come to the surface if communication is lost.
The submarine entered service on 19 November 1985. Her mid-life update was carried out in Argentina between 2008 and 2013.
The last known position of the sub is believed to be off the south-eastern Valdez peninsula.
There are at least 44 people on board the missing submarine. Among them is Argentina’s first female submarine officer, Eliana María Krawczyk.
A NASA P-3 Orion equipped with a magnetometer, gravimeter, and other sensors, was redirected from Operation Ice Bridge to aid in the search and the United Kingdom offered assistance in the form of a C130 Hercules based in the Falkland Islands.
The US Navy was also sending a P-8 currently in El Salvador on Saturday, November 18, 2017.