Rescue mission for missing submarine still ongoing

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A U.S. Navy rescue crew from San Diego has joined the global search effort for a Argentine submarine and its 44 crew members missing for several days beneath the stormy southern Atlantic Ocean.

The ARA San Juan was inaugurated in 1983, the newest of three submarines in the navy's fleet, and underwent maintenance in 2008 in Argentina.

"We analyzed these signals, which as we know were intermittent and weak", said Gabriel Galeazzi, a naval commander.

The submarine was originally scheduled to arrive Monday at the navy's base in Mar del Plata, about 250 miles (400 kilometres) southeast of Buenos Aires. A man walks past a banner in the colours of the Argentine national flag, outside the Argentine Naval Base where the ARA San Juan submarine that is missing at sea sailed from, in Mar del Plata, Argentina November 20, 2017. The U.S., UK, Chile, Brazil and other countries have contributed assets to the search, and a total of almost 50 ships and aircraft are actively looking for the missing vessel.

"A warship has a lot of backup systems, to allow it to move from one to another when there is a breakdown", he said.

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The ARA San Juan was returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia, near the southern-most tip of South America, towards Mar del Plata.

Crew members' relatives gathered at the Mar del Plata naval base, waiting for news.

Balbi said the sounds being detected were "constant", raising some hope that the crew of the ARA San Juan submarine may have been intentionally making noise to attract rescuers. "We continue to do everything, deploying all available national and worldwide media, to find them as soon as possible". They were joined by President Mauricio Macri.

His government also sent five psychologists and a psychiatrist to the base in support of the relatives.

The German-made submarine, with which the navy last had contact on Wednesday, has seven days' worth of oxygen reserves. The sounds that were heard from where the underwater vessel was last heard of did not belong to the unfortunate submarine. "He's in the San Juan submarine". He says it likely came from a "biological" source. Courtesy Ronald Gutridge/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY."Today is a critical day", said Maria Victoria Morales, the mother of Luis Garcia, an electrical technician aboard the vessel. That included the replacement of its four diesel engines and its electric propeller engines, according to specialist publication Jane's Sentinel.