MoD blasts claims that a Royal Navy helicopter was chasing an Argentine submarine when it went missing with 44 sailors on board as 'completely untrue'

MoD blasts claims that a Royal Navy helicopter was chasing an Argentine submarine when it went missing with 44 sailors on board as 'completely untrue'

Sister of missing crew member said British helicopter chased missing submarine

The Ministry of Defence has denied claims that a Royal Navy helicopter was chasing an Argentine submarine when it went missing. 

Jesica Medina, the sister of one of the 44 missing sailors, Roberto Daniel Medina, claimed she had received a 'strange' message from her brother days before the vessel's last known communication.

In the Whatsapp message, he is said to have told her that the ARA San Juan submarine travelled close to the Falkland Islands — that a Royal Navy helicopter was trying to track them.

Second sub-officer Roberto told her they were now heading for home, writing: 'On Monday an English helicopter was looking for us, and yesterday the Chileans, there has been a lot going on.'

Jesica told Argentina's La Gaceta newspaper that 'many' other families of other missing crew members also received reports from their loved ones that they had been fleeing a British helicopter at the time of their disappearance.

She said: 'It was a strange message in which he told us a British helicopter and a Chilean ship had been chasing them.

 

'We all feel they are hiding things from us. The Navy has practically tortured us with all this situation they have made us live.'

But a MoD spokesman told MailOnline: 'This story is completely untrue'. 

The German-built ARA San Juan sub went missing on November 15 in the South Atlantic as it made its way back to the Navy base in Mar del Plata, with 43 men and one woman on board.

The vessel last made contact with commanders to report that water had entered the vessel through its snorkel and caused a battery fault.

Experts said the crew only had up to 10 days of oxygen if the sub remained intact under the sea. 

An explosion was later detected around the time and place where the submarine last made contact.

The search for the sub is still ongoing but naval officials have admitted they hold out no hope for the survival of the crew, while judge Yanez, who is now probing the circumstances surrounding the vessel's disappearance, admitted the submarine 'may never be found or recovered.'  

 

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