Missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan found at bottom of Atlantic

Missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan found at bottom of Atlantic

Earlier this year crew members' relatives camped outside of the presidential palace in Buenos Aires for several weeks, where they demanded the government continue its search for the missing submarine.

"We do know they can get it out because Ocean Infinity told us they can, that they have equipment, " said Luis Antonio Niz, father of crew member Luis Niz.

There has been "positive identification of the ARA San Juan", at a depth of 800 meters (2,600 feet), the navy said on Twitter.

The crew had been ordered to return to Mar del Plata on the country's east coast.

Aguad could neither confirm nor deny if the vessel could be recovered, but said the government did "not have the means to extract the submarine".

The ARA San Juan submarine disappeared 430km (270 miles) off the Argentine coast on 15 November 2017.

Argentine Minister of Defence Carlos Aguad did not tell reporters at a press conference whether it would be possible to recover the vessel, Reuters reported, though he did say the government does not now have the means to do so.

Speaking at the first news conference since its discovery by the specialist American survey ship Ocean Infinity, naval captain Enrique Balbi said the working theory was that the vessel had imploded close to the seabed.

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The first anniversary of the submarine's disappearance was commemorated at the Mar del Plata naval base on November 15, with President Mauricio Macri in attendance.

After submarine went missing, the president promised a full investigation.

Days later, it emerged that a sound consistent with an explosion had been detected in the ocean near the sub's last known location by the United States and an global nuclear weapons monitor.

Argentine police investigating the sub's disappearance raided naval bases in January.

The German-built diesel-electric TR-1700 class submarine was commissioned in the mid-1980s and was most recently refitted between 2008 and 2014.

Experts have said that refits can be hard because they involve integrating systems produced by different manufacturers, and any mistake during the cutting phase can put the safety of the ship and crew at risk.

The short circuit was caused by seawater entering the vessel's "snorkel", a tube that reaches the surface to refresh the vessel's air and recharge the batteries, the captain said in a call to his commander on land. The US seabed intelligence company is known for conducting the search operation for the missing MH370 Malaysian airliner.

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