Argentine navy head sacked over submarine disappearance

Relatives of crew members from missing vessels are demanding the search operation continues until it is found.

Argentina''s President Macri listens to Admiral Srur, Chief of the General Staff of the Navy, alongside Navy Captain Krawinkel, during a meeting at the Navy''s headquarters in Buenos Aires
Navy Admiral Mauricio Srur [left] was appointed by President Mauricio Macri [centre] in 2016. Both have faced criticism for the handling of the submarine's disappearance [Reuters]

Argentina has dismissed the head of its navy a month after the disappearance of a submarine with 44 crew members on board.

The sacking of Navy Admiral Marcelo Srur came as relatives of the missing crew demonstrated on Saturday outside the presidential palace in the capital, Buenos Aires.

Carrying posters and banners, they urged authorities to continue the search until the ARA San Juan is found.

“They promised us that they would keep looking for them, exhausting all the resources,” Luis Tagliapietra, father of missing crew member Damian Tagliapietra, told reporters.

“They told me the saying ‘a sailor does not leave another sailor behind’. Well, here we are, we’re reminding them of that,” he added.

Contact was lost with the ARA San Juan on November 15, shortly after the vessel reported an electrical problem.

Argentina officially ended its rescue mission for the vessel two weeks ago, after a noise, thought to be the submarine imploding, was detected near its last known location.

However, Argentina’s search for the vessel continues, supported by aircraft and ships from 18 countries, including the United KingdomRussia and the United States.

If submerged, it is believed the vessel’s crew would have enough oxygen for up to 10 days. Argentina’s navy said it tried to locate the submarine for double the amount of time that the crew would have had oxygen.

Source: Al Jazeera