MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. Russia’s Pantera Plus unmanned submersible made two dives to survey the bottom contour in the area of search for the missing Argentine submarine San Juan in the Atlantic Ocean, the press service of the Russian defense ministry said on Sunday.
"The Russian military sailors, from the Islas Malvinas ship of the Argentine Navy, conducted an operation to survey an unidentified object found lying on the bottom in the search zone at a depth of more than 400 meters. The object was categorized as a fishing trawler," the ministry said, adding that the Islas Malvinas is to sail to another area featuring a bottom anomaly at a depth of more with 700 meters.
The Russian Defense Ministry earlier reported that upon the instruction from President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu had ordered to dispatch a group of experts from the Navy’s 328th expedition search and rescue unit to Argentina along with the Pantera Plus unmanned submersible, as well as the Russian Navy’s Yantar oceanographic research vessel.
The group of specialists from the rescue detachment of the Russian Navy includes the crew of the Pantera Plus unmanned remote-control descent capsule, deep-water divers, and an undersea physician.
ARA San Juan, a diesel-electric powered submarine with a 44-strong crew aboard, stopped responding to radio communications on November 15. The Argentine Navy said an intensive search for it began in the night hours of November 16. A search and rescue operation was launched on the following day. The Argentine stopped the rescue operation on November 30.