Argentine navy missing sub


who’s going to say it was “unsafe” to sail? every govt. on earth is scrambling for more $$ and just like so many outfits we sail for it’s likely the upkeep and maintenance items that get dealt with are the “paper” ones and the ones the crew raises the most hell about.


That’s a bit harsh!

I doubt the captain was suicidal or the boat was in such bad condition that it was dangerous to submerge or the captain would have remained on the surface. Better seasick for a few days than dead. We don’t know, and probably never will, what caused the loss of depth control and if the battery issue was related in any way.

There are many ways to lose a submarine, many components that might fail and cause flooding. It is highly unlikely the sinking was caused by a sailor with a damage control plug and a hammer.


no it’s not…Argentina was not at war with anyone so there was no combat related reason to submerge a compromised boat other than to make the ride smoother. the coincidence between the reported electrical short in the battery bank and the loss of the boat is too compelling to ignore. why the crew would have lost depth control over a battery issue is mysterious but certainly there are scenarios where that control would be lost. the problem is a boat submerged is liable to many more potential catastrophic failures than a boat on the surface, so why risk it? their command ordered the boat to return to port immediately so their original casualty was not some minor issue…therefore I say the CO is the man who killed them all


submerged speed , especially if on compromised battery power should of been slower than surfaced speed?? (effect of sea state)
AND, a sub crew would probably prefer being submerged, AND liable to accept risk a bit more readily? …
despite this I should think they’d of remained surfaced but there is a lot there I don’t know about whereas some of you writing here have probably been “down there”.
So, we’ll be following this but it’s hard to say what sort of information we’ll be getting but hopefully we have enough experience here to call bs on any “fake news” that surfaces!


I agree with that logic but that’s a very strong statement to make without solid facts


The reports said that the battery issue was 2 days before the sub went missing. Who knows what a reporter meant when he wrote “short” because a short in a submarine battery is either insignificant for a nanosecond or instantly catastrophic in a grand scale. What many would call a “short” may well have been a very common, even routine, problem with reduced insulation resistance, an electrical leak that happens when old or wet conductors or dirty or burned contacts or terminals allow a small amount of energy to flow to “ground” and that condition is called a “ground fault.” It is taken seriously until it can be determined where the ground is and how much current it flows. If the Argentine navy has said “ground fault” every reporter on the planet would have written that the sub ran into an undersea mountain or ran aground on an uncharted island.

Since we are all just guessing, my guess is the thing had a DC ground, surfaced to report it and fix it, fixed it and submerged then something happened a couple of days later. It is not out of the question for the command to take the safe route and tell them to cut short any other exercises they had planned and return to base to correct the issues. If it were a life threatening problem they would have headed to the closest piece of land rather than head to Mar del Plata.

Driving submarines underwater can be dangerous business and there is a long list of potential failures that may have caused this loss. Snorkeling in heavy weather is pretty high on that list in my opinion.


and since when have I quailed against making strong statements?


RE: ground fault", when it hit ground… obviously! yup, that’s what the headline would’ve been. well, It just doesn’t seem it’d of been a massive battery explosion with the gasses and such, then a surfaced ‘repair’ and they are back underway… submerged, but who knows. I understand running with the snorkel is a little hard on the ear drums.


It depends on what depth a sound is generated. Changes in temperature are often used by submarines to help conceal their presence which is why warships use expendable bathythermographs to calculate where the layers are. Sounds can be ducted under the right conditions to be detected many miles away. I believe the US Navy conducted experiments in the Pacific using WW2 ammunition and detected the explosions thousands of miles away.
From memory the MERSAR manual, which should be in the bridge bookcase, has a picture of the buoy a submarine can deploy if it is resting on the bottom but the depth would be limited to less than 250 metres.
From what information I have read, my opinion is that there was an explosion due to hydrogen gas. It could have been small but enough to completely disable the sub and with the loss of all systems, the submarine descended below its crush depth and created an event that registered on various arrays in the Atlantic.
A Royal Australian Navy submarine descended below its operational depth due to the action of a deranged planesman. The sub was removed from service immediately and one can visit it in the maritime museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
The loss of lives at sea has special relevance to those of us at sea and especially to those left behind ashore. There is no body and no real closure. May they rest in peace.


The reports in the press are from the Argentine Navy or Argentine media and originally in Spanish. Even if we assume that the terminology used in the original was correct, by the time it gets translated it could be anything but.(If Google translate was used it could be hilarious)


There are now reports that the #3 battery which - if the 4 batteries are numbered 1-4 from forward to aft - is located beneath the engine room was exposed to seawater coming from the snorkel and the “short” or ground that followed caused a fire. The battery was isolated and continued on.

So far so good but it appears something happened a day or so after that. This goes back to my comment about snorkeling in heavy weather. I don’t know how the Germans rigged the induction valve but American GUPPY boats used 3 electrodes to sense a wave entering the snorkel induction. When any two got wet, the valve closed. The problem is that a lot of water could get in before that second electrode got wet.

In the Guppies the engine room induction trunking had a plate on the centerline overhead that could be removed and let a blast of cool air onto the engineers who hung out under the only thing we had that passed for a ventilator. When the head valve closed the engines would draw a vacuum on the whole boat and the breeze would stop … that was a clue to move away from the open trunk.

When the valve reopened it would either dispense a blast of air at barely subsonic speed or, really bad news, a huge slug of cold seawater that hit anyone under the opening with enough force to knock them down to the floor plates which became awash until the slug drained down to the bilges.

I cannot imagine having a battery compartment under the engine room bilges but the design seems to have worked until now.


Weather and sea state was high



From El Littoral yesterday:


Is the search on for the scapegoat to blame for the “Submiss”, or are the Argentine judiciary powerful enough to go after the Navy brass and politicians actually to blame??


Another attempt at finding the wreck of ARA San Juan is under way.
The Seabed Constructor, fresh from failing to find MH 370 has just started the search:

She left from Comodoro Rivadavia yesterday:

Don’t know if this is another “No cure, no pay” operation, or if Ocean Infinity will get paid up front.


as per this article link?

The direct contracting of Ocean Infinity followed a selection process involving several Argentine navy committees. The US company will only be paid for its search services if the submarine or its remains are found.


On our way into Comodoro Rivadavia before commencing the search for # ARASanJuan . Hope the weather stays. Incredible icebergs in the South Atlantic.