Mystery deepens as missing Argentine submarine 'monitored Brit nuke sub near Falklands'
The ARA San Juan reportedly detected the British sub near the Falklands in the South Atlantic four months before it went missing with 44 people on board in November. A sub had been detected by the Argentine crew on July 9 and the San Juan had been ordered to reduce its own noise and to monitor it, according a secret report seen by Argentine media.
Sonar experts determined the submarine was a British nuclear ship and three recordings of its presence were sent on to the Argentine army.
The secret report on the incident was signed by the captain of the submarine, Pedro Martin Fernandez.
The ARA San Juan had been travelling in an area of interest shared by Argentina and the UK and Argentina should have notified the UK before a mission of this kind. However, the Argentine submarine was allegedly ordered by the army not to follow this rule.Two days before the incident with the British submarine, the ARA San Juan was reportedly in a near-miss incident with a Chinese fishing boat.
The Argentine sub was almost hit by the Chinese fishing boat Lu Rong Yuan Yu 883, which was on fire.
Another secret report, from November 2016, revealed that the San Juan had problems with its waterproof sealing.
Navy bosses were told the sub had to go into dry dock for repairs within 18 months and should not dive deeper than 100 metres before then.
The submarine also had other problems, including losing of 50 litres of oil each day, which affected its hydraulic system.
The Argentine media also reported that, before its disappearance, the ARA San Juan only had 14 of the 100 canisters of oxygen it was supposed to carry for emergencies.
No trace of the ARA San Juan and its crew of 44 has been found since it went missing in the waters of the South Atlantic on November 15.
The Argentine navy lost contact with the submarine after it had reported an electrical problem off the coast of Patagonia.
Britain and Argentina went to war over the Falklands in 1982, after Argentina invaded and occupied the islands.
The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on June 14, 1982, returning the islands to British control.