A San Diego-based U.S. Navy rescue crew was set to arrive in South America Sunday to assist in the search for a missing Argentine Navy submarine and its 44 crew members.
Navy Sailors with Undersea Rescue Command (URC) departed from Miramar Saturday with a Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) and four aircraft, en route to the Southern Atlantic, where the submarine A.R.A. San Juan lost contact with the Argentine Navy Wednesday.
The U.S. Navy deployed its sailors after the government of Argentina asked for international assistance in the search. The Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the governments of Britain and Chile had also offered "logistical help and an exchange of information for this humanitarian search."
On Saturday, Argentina said it detected seven brief satellite calls that officials believe may have come from the missing submarine, though the origin of the calls could not be confirmed.
URC sailors will join the Navy’s P-8A Poseidon maritime aircraft’s 21-person crew and a NASA research aircraft, both already aiding the search off Argentine's southern Atlantic coast.
The Navy’s submarine rescue vessel is able to reach depths of 850 feet and rescue six people at a time by using advanced technology in submarine rescue scenarios, according to U.S. Navy Southern Command.
Poseidon’s sensors are equipped to conduct search-and-rescue missions from the sky, as its sensors search below the surface of large bodies of water.
A second rescue system, the Pressurized Rescue Model (PRM) is scheduled to arrive in the Southern Atlantic early next week. The PRM can reach depths of 2,000 feet and is able to rescue 16 people at a time, the U.S. Navy said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.