Weather improves in search for submarine

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina: Rescuers searching for an Argentine navy submarine that went missing in the South Atlantic nearly a week ago with 44 crew aboard were expected to be able to pick up the pace on Tuesday as fierce weather abated.
Storms and high winds have limited the search for the ARA San Juan in the past several days. On Tuesday, waves were expected to be about 2 metres high in the search area, down from 8 metres over the weekend, meteorologists said.
“The bad weather continued through yesterday. Luckily, from today onwards the intensity of the wind and the height of the sea will begin to fall,” navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters.
Earlier, searchers found an empty raft floating in the ocean, and also noticed white flares from a distance. However, the raft’s brand and lettering suggest it did not belong to the submarine, and the flares the submarine was equipped with are red, Balbi said.
Officials are nonetheless trying to identify where the flares came from, he said. In the worst-case scenario in which the submarine has been unable to rise toward the surface to “snorkel,” the vessel has enough oxygen to last seven days, Balbi said.
More than a dozen boats and planes from Argentina, the United States, Britain, Chile and Brazil have joined the search. Authorities have mainly been scanning from the sky as storms have halted the maritime hunt. — Reuters