A commission composed by legislative has concluded that the sinking of the ARA San Juan submarine with all 44 crew-members onboard, in November 2017, was caused by the inefficiency of naval commanders and budget limitations, finally discarding theories the vessel was attacked or hit by a ship.
“The hypotheses that the submarine was attacked by a foreign warship, hit by a fishing vessel or was performing secret tasks outside of jurisdictional waters have been discarded,” said the commission, which was made up of lawmakers from different parties, including the governing party.
The report pointed to budget limitations in recent years as contributing to the disaster as well as “the failure to update technologies and maintain a minimal level of maintenance based on hours of use that produced a growing deterioration” of the submarine.
The Navy “tried to continue to fulfill its ordered missions with increasingly reduced budgets. It accepted as normal operating under conditions that were far from optimal for the task,” the report said.
But the fact which caused ARA San Juan to sink is a fire which occured at battery number 3. An electric fire in battery No. 3 brought about a series of other events that caused the loss of the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan (S-42), according to the commission’s recently released final report on the accident.
Seawater leaked into the ventilation system and from there it reached battery No. 3, starting a fire on 14 November 2017, the 12-person commission concluded.
Fire at batteries is one of the most dangerous situations while under sea.