Missing Argentine submarine: First images emerge of wreckage found at bottom of ocean after a year

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The operation to find the ARA San Juan, which disappeared with 44 crewmembers aboard on Nov. 15, 2017, is chronicled in video shot aboard a vessel owned by Ocean Infinity, a company the Argentine government hired to scour the ocean for the lost submarine. (Wael Dabbous/OCEAN INFINITY)

Newly released footage shows the seafloor wreckage of an Argentine navy submarine recently found a year after it vanished.

The operation to find the ARA San Juan, which disappeared with 44 crewmembers aboard on Nov. 15, 2017, is chronicled in video shot aboard a vessel owned by Ocean Infinity, a company the Argentine government hired to scour the ocean for the lost submarine.

"Our thoughts are with the many families affected by this terrible tragedy. We sincerely hope that locating the resting place of the ARA San Juan will be of some comfort to them at what must be a profoundly difficult time," Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett said in a news release.

The Argentine government announced Saturday that the submarine had been located 2,625 feet below the surface off the Valdes Peninsula. Though the vessel's remains had been found, the Argentine government acknowledged on Saturday that it lacked the proper technology to retrieve it. Officials are still determining what to do next, Defense Minister Oscar Aguad said.

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The ARA San Juan was found 2,625 feet below the surface off the coast of Argentina, officials announced Saturday. The Argentine government acknowledged on Saturday that it lacked the proper technology to rescue the vessel.



The discovery was announced just two days after families of the missing sailors held a commemoration one year after the sub disappeared.

The German-built diesel-electric TR-1700 class submarine was commissioned in the mid-1980s and was most recently refitted between 2008 and 2014. During the $12 million retrofitting, the vessel was cut in half and had its engines and batteries replaced. Experts said refits can be difficult because they involve integrating systems produced by different manufacturers, and even the tiniest mistake during the cutting phase can put the safety of the ship and crew at risk.

The navy said previously the captain reported on Nov. 15 that water entered the snorkel and caused one of the sub's batteries to short-circuit. The captain later communicated that it had been contained.

Some hours later, an explosion was detected near the time and place where the San Juan was last heard from. The navy said the blast could have been caused by a "concentration of hydrogen" triggered by the battery problem reported by the captain.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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