Yesterday marked six years since the tragedy of submarine ARA St. Johnsunk in the waters of the South Atlantic Ocean with its 44 crew. To commemorate that fateful event, it was inaugurated in Mar del Plata a new monument located in the Submarine Force Command Museum, on the North Breakwater, next to the Naval Base of the seaside resort, the ship’s natural dock.
The bronze propellerwhich ARA San Juan used until 1995, along with plaques with the names of the 44 deceased sailors were part of this new memorial.
During the early hours of yesterday, relatives of some of the submarine’s crew held an emotional vigil where they named each of the 44 heroes. This monument is added to the one located in 2021, a marble plaque with the names of each crew memberlocated in front of the Base entrance.
To open the event, the military chaplain of the Naval Military School, Luis María Berthoud, served to honor the memory of the victims. “As a great naval family, we want to pray for our men and women crew members of the ARA San Juan, who in the cold latitudes of our Argentine sea are on permanent vigil. They had a vocation to serve the country. May the legacy of the crew members urge us every day to improve ourselves and give the best of ourselves,” he expressed.
Next, the Minister of Defense, Jorge Taiana, said a few words in memory of those who died during the sinking of the ship. “The 44 have become a symbol not only for their families but for all Argentines, of people who gave their lives for the country in an unexpected way,” she said. And he added: “It is a sad day because of the pain of the family members that always impacts, and at the same time shows their love, affection and permanence, and the drama of having them away.”
The minister also said that “there are compatriots who have the will and sacrifice to risk their own lives as a service to the country to carry out the surveillance and control tasks that had been established for them.”
Also present at the event was the Chief of the General Staff of the Navy, Julio Horacio Guardia, who declared: “The idea we have is to go in search of modern, new submarines. We are in that work, with daily conversations. We hope that the national industry will intervene in the process.”
A wreath In memory of the victims, the emotional event closed, in which the mayor of the coastal city also participated, Guillermo Montenegro, the president of the Port Consortium, Gabriel Felizia; the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, Brigadier Major Pedro Girardi, among other civil and military authorities.
The ARA San Juan had left on November 8 from the Base Naval Ushuaia to head back to the port of Mar del Plata. She had issued her last communication on the morning of November 15, 2017, while patrolling the southern Atlantic waters.
“Seawater entry through the ventilation system into battery tank No. 3 caused a short circuit and the beginning of a fire on the battery bar balcony. Bow batteries out of service at the moment while submerged, propelling with split circuit. No personnel news. I will keep you informed,” reported the commander of the ARA San Juan, frigate captain Pedro Martínez Fernández, at 7:30 on November 15, 2017.
The search for the ARA San Juan submarine lasted a year, and It was found 907 meters deep on November 17, 2018597 kilometers from the city of Comodoro Rivadavia, at the height of the Golfo San Jorge.
For the shipwreck of the ARA San Juan, the federal judge of Caleta Olivia Marta Yáñez ordered the prosecution of Rear Admiral Luis López Mazzeo, Captain Claudio Villamide, Rear Admiral Luis Malchiodi, Captain Héctor Alonso, Captain Hugo Miguel Correa and Lieutenant Commander Jorge Andrés Sulia, for intentional damage having ignored warnings about the malfunctioning of the submarine’s instruments.
With respect to causeTaiana expressed that for him “It’s going too slow, and I think that’s what family members share too.“We would like this to move forward and end and not leave it without clarification,” he concluded.
The post first appeared on www.infobae.com