Argentina says flares seen are unlikely to be from submarine

Time running out for Argentine sub crew? Canada monitoring situation, search intensifies

The ARA San Juan was returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia, near the southern-most tip of South America, towards Mar del Plata. The U.S., UK, Chile, Brazil and other countries have contributed assets to the search, and a total of almost 50 ships and aircraft are actively looking for the missing vessel.

"The vessel surfaced and it reported a breakdown", naval commander Gabriel Galeazzi said.

Argentina's navy says a noise detected in an undersea area on Monday did not come from a submarine that has been missing since last week with 44 sailors on board.

Under normal circumstances, the vessel has sufficient fuel, water, oil and oxygen to operate for 90 days without external help, said Balbi, and the vessel could "snorkel" - or raise a tube to the surface - "to charge batteries and draw fresh air for the crew".

"The search area is two times the size of Buenos Aires", Balbi said.

On Saturday, the navy mentioned that they were analyzing if the seven satellite signals that were heard that day belonged to the ARA San Juan submarine. Courtesy Ronald Gutridge/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY."Today is a critical day", said Maria Victoria Morales, the mother of Luis Garcia, an electrical technician aboard the vessel.

ARA San Juan soon lost its communication while traversing from an Ushia, Argentina base to its Mar del Plata home base. "This is why we are deploying all resources with high-tech sensors".

Time running out for Argentine sub crew? Canada monitoring situation, search intensifies
The Latest: Argentina says noise wasn't from missing sub

Morales and other relatives of crew members have been gathered at a naval base in Mar del Plata, where authorities are coordinating the search and rescue operation.

"It's dependent upon the last time they actually recharged their batteries, how long ago they refreshed the air, what's inside the submarine", Reed said. "We welcome the help we have received to find them".

USA satellite communications company Iridium Communications Inc, which was brought in to help analyze the calls, said they did not originate with its device aboard the vessel and may have been from another satellite communications company's equipment.

If the hull is intact, it can withstand ocean depths up to about 600 meters, Layton said.

But spokesman Enrique Balbi said the noise was unlikely to have been caused by the submarine.

Rescue teams from Argentina, the United States, Britain, Chile and Brazil have joined the search effort. The communication attempts were originally thought to indicate that the crew was trying to re-establish contact.

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