BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Hours after announcing the discovery of an Argentine submarine lost deep in the Atlantic a year ago with 44 crew members aboard, the government said Saturday that it is unable to recover the vessel, drawing anger from missing sailors’ relatives who demanded that it be raised.
Defense Minister Oscar Aguad said at a press conference that the country lacks “modern technology” capable of “verifying the seabed” to extract the ARA San Juan, which was found 2,975 feet deep in waters off the Valdes Peninsula in Argentine Patagonia, roughly 373 miles from the port city of Comodoro Rivadavia.
Earlier in the morning, the navy said a “positive identification” had been made by a remote-operated submersible from the American com-pany Ocean Infinity. The company, commissioned by the Argentine government, began searching for the missing vessel Sept. 7.
It remained unclear what the next steps
Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett said authorities would have to determine how to advance. “We would be pleased to assist with a recovery operation but at the moment are focused on completing imaging of the debris field,” he said.
Navy commander Jose Luis Villan urged “prudence,” saying that a federal judge overseeing the investigation would decide if it was possible to recover a part or the entirety of the ship.