The US Navy’s Undersea Rescue Command (URC) has set out to help find the Argentinean submarine that went off the radar last week.
ON Sunday, the URC had loaded three USAF C-17 Globemaster III and one USAF C-5 Galaxy aircraft as part of the first resuce system, the Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) and underwater intervention Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from Miramar to Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, according to a Navy statement.
The Argentine Armada announced it had lost contact with ARA San Juan (S-42) on Friday and by Saturday the US Navy was mobilizing its submarine rescue unit.
“We operate with a status making sure we can load our systems on airplanes within 24 hours,” Cmdr. Mark Hazenberg, former commanding officer of the URC was quoted as saying by USNI News on Monday.
The command is constantly training, both in the US and with foreign navies, Hazenberg said, to be ready for what is a rare occurrence, the need to perform an undersea rescue.
During rescue scenarios, the ROV is used to first survey the submarine’s location, determine the angle it’s resting on the seabed, and can be used to clear any debris blocking hatches to be used during a rescue attempt, explained Hazenberg.
The URC could consider using either the SEC or another apparatus, the command’s Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM), to attempt rescuing the crew. The PRM is currently being airlifted to Argentina. The equipment was sent in stages to accommodate a steady assembly flow, according to a URC spokesperson.