WHOI Ship 'Atlantis' Participates in Missing Argentinian Sub Search - 29/11/2017

The research vessel 'Atlantis', operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), was diverted on 21 November 2017 to help search for the missing Argentinian submarine ARG 'San Juan' and has been participating in the search since then. 'Atlantis' was en route to a planned oceanographic mission in the South Atlantic when U.S. Navy officials directed it to head to the area where communications were last received from the sub.

The advanced research vessel arrived in the area at 2 p.m. on 21 November and immediately began search operations using the ship’s multibeam sonar and underwater communications systems. The ship also used its underwater communication system, which is like an underwater telephone: It has two-way capability to listen for sounds from the ocean and also to transmit sounds into the ocean that can be detected by submariners.

The ship searched the most northern of three rectangular search areas of the ocean until about 2:30 p.m. on 22 November, when it was redirected to new location in the most southern target “box,” where it is continuing to search.

The ARG San Juan submarine went missing on 15 November 2017 as it journeyed from the port of Ushuaia to the city of Mar del Plata, with 44 crew members aboard.

Atlantis is owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by WHOI under a charter agreement. The vessel was heading to the port of Montevideo, Uruguay, to pick up scientists and technicians to service several deep water mooring arrays in the Argentine Basin at 42°S, 42°W, part of the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatories Initiative. It was to be the last voyage of the ship’s captain, A.D. Colburn, who is retiring after more than three decades of sailing on WHOI ships.

Last updated: 22/10/2020