Monday, November 27, 2017

ARA San Juan Missing New Questions Raised

UPDATE #2 (4 DEC 17) -

According to today's related report Missing Argentine Sub's Crew Informed About Device's Failure in Sept
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The crew of the missing Argentine submarine San Juan with 44 crew members on board reported in September [months before its loss] that the submarine's snorkel, a device which takes in air from the surface and ensures submerged operation, failed, causing water to enter into the vessel, the Clarin newspaper reported, citing the Argentine Navy report. [UNCONFIRMED]

However, according to the outlet, important parts were not flooded and the submarine was scheduled for repair works in 2018.

**************  MOLTEN EAGLE **************
If true, the above report underscores the relevance of our original questions (#1 and #2), why would ARA San Juan compound its difficulty (a very low after battery charge) with the attendant hazards of  sailing underwater? and was the diesel propulsion system out of commission after the snorkle flooded? However, an explosion quite renders question #3 (was the emegency blow system out of commission due to inadequate air pressure?) irrelevant.  Now that we know crewmember Rothlisberger was permitted to miss the sub's last departure after performing a series of tasks for his boss.  What, if any mechanical responsibilities did his boss have and such permission is rarely accorded unless the tasks have been so arduous that fatigue could undermine crew readiness. On the contrary could Rothlisberge's presence on the last trip have helped save the sub San Juan? A good journalist would at least ask probe glaring questions and perhaps obtain credible answers.

UPDATE #1 (4 DEC 17) -

According to a FOXNEWS  report 24 NOV 17 2 sailors didn't board missing Argentina submarine at the last minute

 At the very last minute, two sailors did not board the Argentinian submarine that has been lost in the South Atlantic [since 15 NOV].

For different reasons, Humberto Vilte and Adrián Rothlisberger did not board the submarine with the 44 other crew members, according to O Globo, a Brazilian newspaper.

Vilte was allowed to skip the mission after he learned that his mother had been hospitalized, O Globo reported. Rothlisberger was allowed
[to miss the trip after completing tasks] for his boss, according to O Globo. He avoided the trip in “a matter of seconds,” Sandra Álvares [his mother] said.

BACKGROUND

The submarine ARA (Armada de la República Argentina) San Juan (S-42) has been considered missing since 17 November, two days since it had been ordered back to its Mar del Plata base after reporting a water deluge through its snorkel short-circuited its forward battery and reportedly not heard from again.

The San Juan had only a seven-day oxygen supply when it lost contact, and a sudden noise was detected that the navy says could have been the implosion of the vessel. 
Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told a news conference Monday as hope dwindled among some families of the 44-member crew, including Argentina's first female submariner, Operations Officer Lt. Eliana María Krawczyk

LATEST & GLARINGLY UNANSWERED

“They had to isolate the battery and continue to sail underwater toward Mar del Plata, using another battery,” Balbi said.

GLARING QUESTIONS 

(1)
Unless another casualty has not been disclosed (likely) or a classified mission was still underway (possible?) why would ARA San Juan compound its difficulty (a very low after battery charge) with the attendant hazards of  sailing underwater?  Its Siemens electric propulsion motor would have been less taxed for underwater propulsion, but leave scant battery power available for new emergency needs. Also in the heavy seas after November 15th, submarines roll, pitch and yaw like bouncing logs, submergence was for safety and comfort. Rescue teams from the Royal Navy reported 33 ft waves in the search area.

                                        (2)
Was the diesel propulsion system out of commission after the snorkle flooded? All the more reason to surface transit. If the snorkle valve system was badly damaged, submergence would have been a very poor choice.
                                        (3)
Was the emegency blow system out of commission (inadequate air pressure), as well?  Dead in the water is usually preferred to dead on the bottom.

                                        (4)
If a hostile presence was involved from which the San Juan sought to hide,  who was behind the hostile force? This seems very unlikely.

                                        (5)
Was there a battery explosion due to saltwater exposure to battery cells?  This looks likely.

*********
Something very secretive in nature is neither being discussed nor disclosed.

Regardless of circumstances, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to families and friends of the latest 44 submariners to lose their lives beneath the waves.

Submarines are always silent and strange.  

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