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Argentine Navy submarine saving efforts will be rewarded, says captain

Staff Writer |
The commander of one of the Argentine navy ships engaged in the search for the ARA San Juan submarine, which has been missing for 13 days, is convinced that though the work is going slowly, the submarine will be found.

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“Right now, the feeling aboard every ship taking part in the search is to make the maximum effort to achieve the final goal, which is to find the submarine,” said Capt. Fernando Sabadin aboard the ARA Patagonia, a ship engaged in the logistical tasks of distributing food, water and fuel to the rest of the fleet.

The logistics vessel went last Sunday to load up with those supplies at the port of Mar del Plata, base of the missing submarine that disappeared with 44 crew members aboard and where it should have called in nine days ago.

The last known location of the submarine was some 432 kilometers (268 miles) off the coast of Argentine Patagonia on Nov. 15, where it had sailed from the naval base at Ushuaia, the southernmost port in the country, on its way to Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires province, where it was to have arrived over a week ago.

Currently, and near an area where an explosion was detected the same day the sub disappeared, more than 4,000 naval personnel and volunteers with air, naval and logistic support from 13 countries are collaborating to find as soon as possible the ARA San Juan and its crew, whose condition is unknown.

“I’m convinced that our efforts will be rewarded and the submarine will be found. It’s a slow task and the weather conditions in the area aren’t helping,” Sabadin said, adding that “what’s important” is that this work “continues without interruption.”

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