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Concerns grow as Argentina intensifies submarine search

Search for missing vessel enters third day as President Mauricio Macri vows to do everything possible to locate vessel.

The San Juan

A NASA research plane has joined the search for a missing Argentine submarine, as concern is growing over the fate of its 44 crew members.

No contact has been made with the vessel, the ARA San Juan, since Wednesday, prompting authorities to launch a major air and sea search operation.

"We will do what is necessary to find the submarine as soon as possible," President Mauricio Macri said on his Twitter account on Saturday.

The TR-1700 class diesel-electric vessel had been returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia, near the southernmost tip of South America, to its base at Mar del Plata, around 400km south of the capital, Buenos Aires.

Argentina accepted an offer from the United States for a NASA P-3 explorer aircraft, which had been stationed in Ushuaia and was preparing to depart to Antarctica, to make an exploratory flight over the search area.

The German-made ARA San Juan is one of three submarines in the Argentine fleet.

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