The search for Argentina's missing submarine

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Where is the ARA San Juan?

Argentina's ARA San Juan went missing in the South Atlantic last week with dozens of crew members on board. The German-built diesel-electric submarine was commissioned in 1985, but was refitted in 2014 — leading to some concerns that a mistake was made during the renovation.

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Missing at sea

The submarine departed from the extreme southern port of Ushuaia on November 8 after it took part in a training exercise. Argentina says it lost contact with the submarine on November 15.

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Who is on board?

There are 44 crew members on board the submarine, including Argentina's first female navy submarine officer. Eliana Maria Krawczyk, 35, joined the navy in 2004 and rose to become the master-at-arms on board the ARA San Juan.

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What could have gone wrong?

Authorities do not yet know what happened on the missing submarine, but it's possible there was a technical issue. The submarine's captain reported that one of the ship's batteries had failed before communication was lost. There was speculation that an "unusual" noise transmitted just hours after the sub's last contact could have been the sound of an explosion.

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International search

Argentina is leading a massive search for the missing submarine along with the help of several other countries including: Brazil, Britain, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, the United States and Uruguay. Britain's HMS Clyde (pictured above) also joined in the search as it was returning from a patrol.

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Scanning the skies

Several aircraft were also used in the search, but rescue efforts have been hampered by bad weather. Search teams are combing an area of around 185,000 square miles (480,000 square kilometers) — roughly the size of Spain.

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Searching with sonar

On November 18, search units largely relied on information gathered by British polar exploration vessel, the HMS Protector (pictured above). The ship is equipped with underwater sonar technology and was following the lost submarine's path.

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False alarms

Relatives have had to endure days of false hope however, after underwater sounds were determined to have originated from sea creatures and satellite signals turned out to be false alarms. Flares and a life raft were also found in the search area, but neither came from the missing submarine.

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President prays with relatives

The disappearance of the submarine has gripped the nation. Argentina's President Mauricio Macri (L) has been praying with the family members of crew members and coordinating with naval leaders.

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Families clinging to hope

"Argentina, be strong. In God we trust, we wait for you," reads a flag outside a navy base in Mar Del Plata. Worried relatives gathered at the base to await news of their loved ones. "We can make up a thousand movies with happy and sad endings, but the reality is that the days pass by and not knowing anything kills you," said Carlos Mendoza, the brother one of the crew members.

A round-the-clock international search has been launched after Argentina's ARA San Juan submarine went missing on November 15. Rescuers raced to locate the missing vessel and its 44 crew members before oxygen runs out.

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