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Argentine Navy loses communication with submarine carrying crew of 44

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The Argentine Navy confirmed today that it has lost communication with one of its submarines.

According to the Navy, the submarine’s last-known position in the area of operations was near the San Jorge Gulf, about 240 nautical miles from the country’s southern shore. Communications were reportedly knocked out Wednesday because of a fire, local media said.

No SOS warning was received at any time, the Navy said. A spokesperson hypothesized that it would be logical that a major electrical problem could have knocked out the submarine’s communications.

The missing watercraft — the ARA San Juan — is a German-built TR 1700 class diesel-electric submarine, the Navy said. It was on a routine trip from a base in Ushia, on the southern tip of the continent, to its home base of Mar del Plata.

The ARA San Juan debuted in 1983 and hadn’t experienced any problems until two years ago, when it was sent to port to be repaired, the Navy said. The nature of those repairs is unclear.

“We have a loss of communications. We are not talking of an emergency,” said Adm. Gabriel Gonzalez, according to The Associated Press.

The Navy said that four naval ships and three planes were searching for the missing submarine, as well as land-based communications stations, which are listening to all possible frequencies of transmission in case the vessel is trying to send a message.

One of the planes being used is an American NASA plane, which is equipped with instruments that searchers hope will aid in the search. The Navy has also asked that local merchant and fishing ships also keep a lookout for the submarine.

Only 15 percent of the logical search area had been surveyed by Friday afternoon, and the search area has now been widened, the Navy said.

After the search began during mild weather, visuals were later hampered due to worsening weather, according to officials.

The Submarine Force Command has been in touch with the relatives of the 44 on board to keep them informed of developments.

According to the Navy, a Turbo Tracker aircraft and a B-200 aircraft had made flights Thursday and this morning.

Both the naval destroyer ARA Sarandi with a helicopter on board and the corvette ARA Rosales had also been sent to the area. Additionally, the Navy said the ARA corvette Drummond was expected to arrive and get in position today around 6 p.m. local time.

Steve Ganyard, an ABC News contributor and a former deputy assistant secretary of state, said the San Juan was almost 35 years old but had undergone a “midlife upgrade” in 2013. The submarine is one of only three in the Argentine Navy.

The U.S. Southern Command said it was monitoring the situation closely.

“We are coordinating closely with the U.S. State Department and our chain of command to be ready to assist, if asked. As of this email, U.S. Southern Command does not have a role in the ongoing search and rescue effort. We join the international community in hoping for an outcome involving no loss of life or injuries to personnel,” U.S. Southern Command said.

The Argentine Foreign Ministry said that the governments of Chile, U.S. and U.K. had offered logistical support and information in the search for the missing submarine. The U.S. also deployed a plane to the massive search site in a rescue operation.

“The fact is that, if you don’t know where the submarine is, when it’s in distress, you can have all the rescue gear in the world and it’s not going to make a difference,” Ganyard said.

ABC

Foreign News

Sri Lankan President Thanks Seychelles Defence Forces For Rescuing Sri Lankan Vessel From Somali Pirates

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President Ramkalawan says Seychellois military boarded boat with utmost courage to take complete control

 The Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) Special Forces and Seychelles Coast Guards on board Coast Guards vessel Topaz led a successful operation to regain control of a Sri Lankan vessel hijacked by armed Somali pirates.

Seychellois special military forces boarded the boat with utmost courage to take complete control of the vessel and rescue our Sri Lankan brothers.

The Commander in Chief of the Seychelles, President Wavel Ramkalawan has spoken to the Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette to congratulate the Special Forces and Coast Guards team on a well-executed and successful mission.

“This is the spirit of the Seychelles Defence Forces. Professionalism, courage, and bravery are the tenets of the new spirit in the force. Though small, we will make our contribution to attaining maritime security, peace, and determination in the fight against terrorism to ensure that the world, especially in our part of the Indian Ocean remains a safe and peaceful region. Once again, I reiterate the  pride and confidence of the Seychellois nation in the Seychelles Defence Forces.”

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Foreign News

GoG: Promoting Trans-boundary Management For Sustainable Socio-Economic Development

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…Mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of the Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME)

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 23, 2024/ — From January 21st to 27th, 2024, AU-IBAR is on a mission in the republics of Benin and Togo. The mission is dedicated to supporting the implementation of a Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) initiative between the two nations. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), under the project “Conservation of Aquatic Biodiversity within the Framework of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy,” this initiative holds the promise of fostering socio-economic development through the judicious use of marine resources.

Collaborative Efforts: AU-IBAR is collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) body, the Abidjan Convention, and the World Bank-funded West African Coastal Area Management (WACA) Project. The SIDA-funded project, implemented by AU-IBAR, involves an assessment to map the extent of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) usage in Africa as a management tool for the conservation of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems in the west, central, and northern regions of Africa.

Mission Objectives: This mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME). The current objective is to secure joint expert validation of the SoME report and obtain high-level political endorsement for the provisions of the jointly validated report, demonstrating the commitment of both countries to the cause. Participants in the joint validation workshop include WACA project-nominated committee members from Benin and Togo, representatives from the Abidjan Convention, and government authorities from both nations, alongside relevant AU-IBAR staff.

Political Commitment: The opening statements during the joint meeting saw representatives from the Governments of Benin and Togo, the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention, and the representative of the Director of AU-IBAR express unwavering commitment to the transboundary marine management process. Both the Director of AU-IBAR and the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention reiterated their support for the Governments of Benin and Togo in realizing their shared vision for the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources in the designated shared maritime boundary.

Key Outcomes: The pinnacle achievement of the joint meeting is the validation of the study report on the state of the marine environment between Benin and Togo. This validation marks a significant milestone towards establishing the transboundary MSP between the two countries. AU-IBAR Director, DR Huyam Salih, emphasized that this accomplishment is a crucial step forward in enhancing aquatic biodiversity conservation and environmental protection in the Gulf of Guinea.

Conclusion: The joint expert consultation workshop serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts aimed at promoting transboundary management of shared marine aquatic ecosystems in the Gulf of Guinea. The validated report and political commitment from Benin and Togo are integral to realizing the socio-economic development potential inherent in the sustainable use of marine resources. As AU-IBAR continues its mission, the hope is that this initiative will serve as a model for other regions seeking to harmonize efforts for the conservation and management of their shared marine ecosystems.
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Foreign News

U.S.-British Strikes In Yemen Left 5 Dead, Say Houthi Rebels

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The U.S. and British military strikes in Yemen have left five Houthi fighters dead and six others injured, the Iran-aligned rebels said on Friday, vowing retaliation.

“The American and British enemy bears full responsibility for its criminal aggression,’’ the Houthi military spokesman Yehya Saree said in a statement.

Saree said the massive attack had targeted several Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen including the capital Sana’a.

“It will not pass unanswered and without punishment.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces will not hesitate to target sources of threat and all hostile targets on the ground and in the sea,’’ he said. 

  • dpa
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