Families of missing crew shocked after Argentina finds submarine
Family members of the 44 crew members, who were on board Argentine submarine ARA San Juan, were hit hard by the news of its recovery from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, a year after it had disappeared.
Marta Vallejos, sister of one of the crew members, told EFE that the families were in shock but also thankful for the closure the news brought.
A visibly emotional Vallejos said they were relieved to know that their loved ones were at peace.
Navy officials had informed her and the other families, who were gathered at a hotel in Mar del Plata - which was the base of the submarine - for a memorial on the one year anniversary of the submarine’s disappearance on Thursday.
Earlier on Saturday, Argentina’s ministry of defense and the navy had said that the United States-based firm Infinity Ocean had found ARA San Juan submarine 800 meters deep into the waters.
San Juan had disappeared on Nov. 15 last year while sailing toward its base in Mar del Plata from Ushuaia and after the captain had reported a battery short-circuit caused by water entering the vessel via the snorkel of the vessel.
Although, the navy had assured that the defect was fixed and San Juan had continued its navigation toward Mar del Plata, communication with the ship was lost.
International agencies had reported an explosion near the vessel, hours after the disappearance of the submarine.
Several countries had participated in a five-month-long search for the missing submarine, covering an area of 430 kilometers.
Ocean Infinity was hired in early September by the Argentine government to renew the search.