The Argentine navy is trying to make a visual inspection of another three objects that registered on a sonar search for remains of the ARA San Juan submarine that vanished 18 days ago with 44 crew members aboard in the South Atlantic.
Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told a news conference on Sunday that the new objects were detected at a depth of 700, 800 and 950 meters. Balbi earlier said that inspection of another object by a Russian submersible revealed it was the wreck of a fishing vessel.
“It was confirmed that it wasn’t the submarine’s shell” but a sunken fishing vessel, Balbi said.
The navy “regrets that without a rigorous analysis expectations were generated in the families and society, which must now face another frustration,” Balbi said.
The spokesperson said that another three objects had been detected but visual confirmation was needed, and that besides the Russian ROV, the United States was sending further equipment that can be submerged to over 3.000 meters.
The search is taking place near the last known location of the ARA San Juan before it went silent off the Atlantic coast on November 15.
Last Thursday the navy said it is no longer looking for survivors, although a multinational operation will continue searching for the vessel.
The German-made submarine went missing as it was journeying from the extreme southern port of Ushuaia to the city of Mar del Plata, about 400 kilometers southeast of Buenos Aires.
The navy has said the vessel’s captain reported that water entered the snorkel and caused one of the submarine’s batteries to short circuit. An explosion was later detected around the time and place where the San Juan last made contact.