The German-built AR San Juan submarine last reported its location 268 miles off Argentina’s southern Atlantic coast early on Wednesday
Authorities launched an emergency search-and-rescue operation on Friday but no sign of the vessel has been found.
Among the crew was 35-year-old Eliana Krawczyk, the country’s first female submariner.
Today, a mission was mounted to comb the sea floor, amid whipping winds and 20-foot ocean waves.
Those hazardous conditions continued to disrupt visibility and efforts to explore Argentine’s southern sea.
The submarine had been heading to Mar del Plata from the city of Ushuaia when the navy lost contact.
Argentina President Mauricio Macri said: “We will do what is necessary to find the submarine as soon as possible.”
Gabriel Gonzalez from the Mar del Plata navy base said: “The underwater search is obviously much more complicated than the search at the surface because it requires a combination of high-tech tools.”
Carlos Zavalla, a navy commander, urged the loved ones of crew members not to give up hope.
He told TV station A24: ”So far, the only concrete thing is the lack of communication. That’s all.”
Messages of support have poured in from abroad.
Pope Francis, a native Argentine, said he was praying “fervently” for crew members to return to their families soon.
Argentina accepted an offer from the United States for a NASA P-3 explorer aircraft that had been stationed in Ushuaia.
A Hercules C-130 from the Argentine Air Force has also been flying over the area.
The navy has said it believed an electrical outage on the submarine may have caused its communication problems.
Navy protocol calls for submarines to surface when communication is lost.
The 213-foot long AR San Juan uses diesel-electric propulsion and was inaugurated in 1983, making it the newest of the three submarines in the navy’s fleet.
The dramatic search has captivated the South American nation of 44 million, which recently mourned the loss of five citizens who were killed when a truck driver plowed through a bicycle path in New York City.
Source : EXPRESS