Royal Navy casts off Falklands enmity to hunt for lost Argentine submarine

Maria Krawczyk a submarine officer on board the Argentine navy submarine ARA San Juan

"They could not help determine a point on the map to help the search".

Gonzalez said the navy had intensified an aerial hunt off the country's southern Atlantic coast after adverse weather conditions spurred waves up to 26 feet (8 meters) and made a maritime search hard.

The sub hasn't made contact since Wednesday.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri said on his Twitter account that "we will do what is necessary to find the submarine as soon as possible".

He said: "I pray for the men of the crew of the Argentine military submarine which is missing".

It hadn't experienced any problems until two years ago, when it was sent to port to be repaired, the Navy said.

The ARA San Juan has been missing since Wednesday, when a fire knocked out its communications system while en route from a base in Ushia to its home base of Mar del Plata.

Gonzalez also confirmed that the U.S. Navy's Undersea Rescue Command had been deployed to the search area, along with aircraft from Argentina, Brazil and the United States, as well as 11 surface vessels.

The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan and crew leaving the port of Buenos Aires in 2014
REUTERS The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan and crew leaving the port of Buenos Aires in 2014

When the submarine lost touch with its navy, a fire reportedly knocked out the submarine's communications systems.

The US Navy said its four aircraft were carrying a submarine rescue chamber designed during World War II that can reach a bottomed submarine at depths of 850 feet and rescue up to six people at a time.

The dramatic search has captivated the nation of 44 million, which recently mourned the loss of five citizens killed when a truck driver plowed through a bicycle path in New York City.

The ARA San Juan was returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia, near the southern-most tip of South America, to its base at Mar del Plata, south of Buenos Aires.

"Strength for Argentina. We trust in God".

The vessel disappeared 430km (267 miles) off the Argentine coast.

Defense officials in Argentina said seven signal pings believed to be from the missing submarine ARA San Juan offer fresh hope of rescue for the crew.

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