The Russian Navy specialists have arrived at the search area of the missing Argentine submarine, ARA San Juan, aboard the Argentine Navy vessel, Islas Malvinas, on Dec. 1.
Earlier, the Russian military specialists loaded the Pantera Plus remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on board of the vessel Islas Malvinas.
The 328th expedition search and rescue unit is made up of a commander and operators for the Pantera Plus deep-sea craft, salvage divers and a diving medic.
The group is headed by the 1st Rank Captain Sergey Bashmakov, the Head of the Rescue and Underwater Technologies R&D Institute. All the Russian specialists have long-term experience of search and rescue (SAR) operations. Salvage divers as well as operators for the Pantera Plus deep-sea craft have been mastering their skills in course of numerous exercises and trainings.
On November 24, the Russian Navy’s specialists left St. Petersburg on An-124 military transport aircraft for Argentine to help search for the submarine.
Russian Navy has also send its ocean survey ship Yantar to the region to support SAR operations.
San Juan, with 44 crew members on board, was in the southern Argentine Sea, 432 kilometres from the Patagonian coast when it gave its last location on Nov. 15. The contact was lost when the submarine was en route from the Ushuaia naval base in the country’s far south to Mar del Plata base, around 400 kilometres southeast of the capital, Buenos Aires.
According to Argentina’s Foreign Ministry, a total of 12 countries have already provided assistance, including Germany, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Spain, the United States, France, Norway, Peru, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and Russia.