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Putin Offers Argentina Help Finding Missing Submarine With 44 Crew On Board

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the president of Argentina help in finding a submarine that disappeared in the South Atlantic a week ago with 44 crew members on board, the Russian and Argentine foreign ministries said on November 22.

The Argentine ministry said that Russia had proposed dispatching a high-technology survey vessel to assist in search operations, and Argentine President Mauricio Macri welcomed the assistance.

Argentina is also receiving help from the United States, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Spain, France, Norway, Peru, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

Hopes of finding any crew members alive dimmed on November 22 as officials said the ARA San Juan submarine, which went missing on November 15, only had enough oxygen on board for the crew to survive underwater for seven days.

"We are in a very dangerous situation, and one that is getting worse," Argentine Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said.

Argentina's navy has been unable to locate the vessel since it reported mechanical problems in its last communication before disappearing.

The incident is reminiscent of Russia's own submarine disaster in 2000 when the Kursk, with a crew of 118 on board, caught fire and exploded underwater, leaving no survivors.

Based on reporting by BBC, AFP, and TASS