BUENOS AIRES, November 25. /TASS/. An Antonov-124 Ruslan [aka Condor] airlifter has brought a team of Russian naval specialists to Argentina where they will join the efforts to rescue the distressed submarine, ARA San Juan missing since November 15.
The Argentine channel Todo Noticias aired the footage of the jet’s landing.
Enrique Balbi, the official spokesman for the Argentine Navy said earlier the airlifter would head for the town of Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, after refueling in the city or Comodoro Rivadivia. In Ushuaia, the team will wait for further instructions from the Argentine Navy.
The specialists have been delegated by the Russian Navy’s rescue detachment in St Petersburg. The team includes the commanding officer and operators of the Pantera Plus remote-control unmanned deep-sea descent vehicle, deep-sea divers, and an undersea physician.
Russian Defense Ministry officials said the unloading of equipment
Also heading for Argentina is the Russian oceanographic research ship Yantar. Enrique Balbi said its arrival in the search area was expected ‘by the end of the week’.
After November 17, when an Argentine notification on the launch of a search and rescue operation appeared at the homepage of the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office [ISMERLO], "this country started getting a huge number of proposals from different countries for various types of assistance," Balbi said.
The Argentine Foreign Ministry says twelve countries Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Norway, Peru, Spain, the U.S., the UK, and Uruguay - have taken part in the operation. Russia offered its assistance on Wednesday.
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.
On Thursday, Balbi said Argentina had received information on an abnormal solitary powerful non-nuclear accident that equaled an explosion, registered in the search area on the day of the last communication with the distressed submarine.