The submarine ARA San Juan was returning to its base in the coastal city of Mar del Plata when the Navy lost contact with it. Argentina launched a search for survivors in which 18 countries extended their assistance but there was no trace of any of the 44 crewmen who were in the submarine. However, the Navy continued to search for the vessel which has now been located. The tragedy happened last year on November 15.

The Guardian reports that the wreckage is lying at a depth of approximately 2,625ft in the Atlantic Ocean and the Navy has confirmed that there is a “positive identification.” The Navy hired an American firm for the search and they succeeded in locating the remains of ARA San Juan by means of a remote-operated submersible.

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The loss of ARA San Juan is a mystery

The commissioning of the submarine, built in Germany, was in the mid-1980s.

Subsequently, there were upgrades during 2008 and 2014. In the process, there was extensive work carried out on ARA San Juan to accommodate new equipment that included the replacement of engines and batteries. In the opinion of experts, such refits can pose problems because they involve “integrating systems produced by different manufacturers.”

On the fateful day, the captain reported about water entering the snorkel that led to a short circuit of one of the batteries. The captain subsequently notified that the issue was resolved but, within a few hours, there was an explosion in the vicinity of the sub. The Navy feels it could have been the result of the battery-related problem. On the anniversary of the tragedy, President Mauricio Macri assured the families of ARA San Juan that the truth will emerge and within two days, news came about finding the missing sub.

The sub was on a regular mission

According to the BBC, the submarine was on a routine mission when it reported an "electrical breakdown." A commander of the Navy reported that the ARA San Juan surfaced and noted a "short circuit" in its batteries. It seems Navy gave orders for it to return to the naval base in Mar del Plata immediately, but it had vanished. Eight days later, there was news about noises from the vicinity of its last known position. An organization that keeps track of nuclear explosions via its listening posts had passed on this message. The Argentine navy believes there could be some connection to the missing Argentina submarine. More details will emerge once specialists examine the wreckage in detail after lifting it from the seabed.