Equipment for Search for Lost Submarine Readied in Comodoro Rivadavia 

The “Sophie Siem” was readied for the search for the lost submarine “San Juan” in record time: Argentine operators, along with those hired by the United States Navy, worked day and night. In less than 24 hours the ship will reach the area where the submarine sank. Already on Nov 21 the “Skandi Patagonia” had sailed to the Gulf of San Jorge. The question, at that time, was how to adapt the “Sophie Siem” to the ROV of the US Navy. Five days later, on Nov 26, the vessel finally sailed to join the rescue tasks after intense work by technicians, workers and welders, during the day and at night, when the weather conditions allowed it. It had been necessary to remove the stern platform and the installation of a hydraulic platform to allowe the ROV to slide into the sea.

The port of Comodoro Rivadavia became the epicenter of the logistics of the rescue operation: the provincial and municipal authorities, such as Favio Cambareri (administrator of the Port) and Rubén Palomeque (secretary of Community Services), had to coordinate with the American, British and Russian crews who were already accomodated in various hotels in the city. They had to urgently summon 50 welders. The “Sophie Siem” had on board 15 crew members, plus 43 Americans who operate the ROV and two Argentines.


The Port Captain in Comodoro Rivadavia, Carlos Ortogueira, stated that the departure of the ship was the result of the effort of thousands of people who have been working side by side, to ensure that the equipment that was assembled worked well. It required the movement of 750 tons of cargo, which arrived in 15 aircraft. After the departure of the “Sophie Siem”, two other ships were expected to arrive at the port, one of the Argentine Navy, the “ARA Islas Malvinas”, and the Uruguuayan “Didi K”. The first will transport the equipment that arrived at Comodoro Rivadavia aboard an Antónov 124 aircraft. Also, the “Yantar”, an oceanographic research vessel which incorporated into the Russian fleet in May 2015, which has manned and autonomous batiscafos that can dive to a depth of up to 6,000 meters, was underway to the search area.

The Antónov which stopped at Comodoro Rivadavia and continued on its way to Ushuaia, also transported the Phantera Plus equipment, an unmanned device capable of operating at a maximum depth of 1.000 meters. It will be transported to the search area by the corvette ARA “Rosales”.


Source: Vessel Tracker .com