The search for the missing Argentine submarine lost in the South Atlantic will continue on, the country’s president said on Friday, nine days after it first disappeared on Nov. 15.
“The disappearance and current search of the ARA San Juan submarine has touched all Argentines,” President Mauricio Macri said while at the navy’s headquarters in Buenos Aires. “It’s a difficult moment for all, but obviously, especially for the families of the 44 crew members.”
“I’m here to guarantee you that we will carry on with the search, especially now that we have the support of all the international community,” Macri said.
He also added that a review of the recently renovated sub’s disappearance will be conducted.
“This demands a serious, deep investigation,” Macri said. “We need to understand how a submarine that had undergone a midlife refit, and that was in perfect conditions to sail, suffered this explosion.
The Argentine navy said Thursday that an explosion occurred near the time and place where the submarine went missing. Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said at a news conference that the relatives of the crew had been informed and the search would continue until there was full certainty about the fate of the vessel.
More than a dozen airplanes and ships have been participating in the multinational search across an area of some 185,000 square miles, roughly the size of Spain.
The Argentine navy said Friday that Russia is sending an Antonov transport aircraft, and a ship in the southern Patagonian port of Comodoro Rivadavia is being adapted to carry a U.S. Navy submarine rescue chamber. They will focus the search efforts on a smaller area where the explosion was recorded.
The submarine was sailing from the extreme southern port of Ushuaia to the coastal city of Mar del Plata. It was originally scheduled to arrive Monday at a navy base there.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.