"No deadline" in search for missing submarine, says Argentine Navy

BUENOS AIRES, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Efforts to locate an Argentine submarine that went missing in the south Atlantic in mid-November will continue as long as needed, naval spokesman Enrique Balbi said on Monday.

The search operation calls for "a great effort" and "we are going to continue, there's no deadline," Balbi told reporters.

Officials lost contact with the ARA San Juan submarine and its 44-member crew on Nov. 15 following a suspected explosion.

Search vessels have been sweeping an area 950 meters deep -- where the submarine is likely to have sunk -- but so far to no avail.

A Russian ship with the capacity to search as much as 6,000 meters below the surface is set to join the multinational operation on Tuesday.

"There are six ships sweeping the sea bottom. Five belong to the Argentine Navy" and a sixth is Chilean, said Balbi, adding "tomorrow, the Russian ship Yantar is joining up and on Saturday, the U.S. Atlantis."

Officials are now just trying to retrieve the vessel and determine why it sank.

[ Editor: meng ]


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