ARA San Juan: Argentina fires head of navy over submarine tragedy

Relatives of crew members of the Argentinian submarine have campaigned for their loved ones not to be forgotten

Argentina has dismissed its navy chief one month after the disappearance of the submarine ARA San Juan off its southern coast with 44 crew members.

An worldwide search operation has so far failed to locate the vessel, and the 43 men and one woman who were travelling on board are believed to have died in the tragedy.

Friends and family of the crew marched in Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata on Friday night, demanding the government "continue the search".

Some relatives claim the navy has been hiding information, and have called for a parliamentary investigation.

The sub's last known location was in the San Jorge Gulf was between where it departed from southern Argentina's Tierra del Fuego archipelago and its home base in Mar del Plata.

Image: Argentine servicemen with RAF crew during the search.


The loss of San Juan is the worst submarine disaster since the loss of the Russian vessel Kursk in August 2000. Argentina, which refers to the islands as Las Malvinas, lost the war to Britain. Argentina's navy said it tried to locate the submarine for double the amount of time that the crew would have had oxygen.

The ARA San Juan was last heard from on 15 November when it reported a fire on board.

A navy spokesperson said the message added that the issue was resolved.

Despite hundreds of hours of searches by more than a dozen countries, no trace has been found of the vessel.

Experts say the sub would begin to break up once it drops below about 600 meters due to the water pressure.

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