The Royal Navy Ice Patrol HMS Protector arrived on Sunday morning to Buenos Aires port with her ensign at half mast in recognition to the discovery of the lost Argentine submarine ARA San Juan and to honor the lives to its 44 crew. ARA San Juan went missing in the extreme South Atlantic of Argentina on 15 November 2017, while sailing from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego to its base in Mar del Plata.
A year after the disappearance of the Argentine Navy’s submarine ARA San Juan, the crew of HMS Clyde, one of the British ships that participated in the search operation, yesterday showed their respects in an act of remembrance from the Falkland Islands. The act was given hours before the Ministry of Defense and the Argentine Navy confirmed that the Norwegian ship Seabed Constructor made the discovery.
The Falkland Islands patrol ship HMS Clyde is on her usual patrol area during the austral summer which is South Georgia, 700 miles away. The remote archipelago is as far south of the Equator as Newcastle upon Tyne is north of the invisible line around the globe – but without the benefit of the Gulf Stream, endures far less clement weather.
The Argentine foreign ministry and Navy have denied any incident in the South Atlantic involving ARA Puerto Deseado, a naval hydrographic research vessel, which allegedly on September 2, came close to Falkland Islands waters, and was first reported by an Islands' site hi.Sutton.com.
The Daily Mail has reported that the Royal Navy is to keep old offshore patrol vessels it was due to decommission to ensure it has enough vessels to police Britain's borders after Brexit. This allegedly means the Falkland Islands patrol HMS Clyde, which was to be replaced by HMS Forth from the new batch of patrol vessels and which is scheduled to become active operational next September, will remain in service in the South Atlantic.
The first of the Royal Navy's next-generation patrol ships set sail from Glasgow on Wednesday for her home port of Portsmouth. HMS Forth is the first of a class of five state-of-the-art Royal Navy vessels, designed for counter-piracy, anti-smuggling, fishery protection, border patrol, counter terrorism and other maritime defense duties.
A RAF Voyager transport, in a direct link from MPA in the Falkland Islands landed on Thursday morning at Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires with 25 members of the HMS Protector crew, on time to catch a midday British Airways flight to London. It has been decades since an RAF unit lands in the Argentine capital international airport.
Under the suggestive heading, Clarin correspondent Maria Laura Avignolo writes that the Argentine tragedy of the submarine ARA San Juan has brought ever so close Argentine and British military for the first time since the Falklands conflict. And not surprisingly the support effort includes using the MPA complex in the Islands, if needed.
Britain has increased efforts to help find the missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan in the vast stormy South Atlantic. HMS Protector, the Royal Navy's Ice Patrol ship, is now in the search area where the submarine last made contact on Wednesday.
HMS Clyde celebrates her tenth anniversary in the South Atlantic this week. The Falklands Patrol Vessel was commissioned on July 5, 2007 and arrived on September 21.