Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Submariner 'Really Feels For' Argentines Lost on Sub in South Atlantic

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Submariner 'Really Feels For' Argentines Lost on Sub in South Atlantic

Article excerpt

Canadian submariner 'feels for' lost Argentines


HALIFAX - The captain of a Canadian submarine says his thoughts are with the families of 44 Argentine submarine crew members who have been lost in the South Atlantic for 10 days, but he tries not to dwell on the dangers of underwater travel while running his boat.

Cmdr. Peter Chu, the commanding officer of the HMCS Windsor, says he has been following news of the round-the-clock international search for the Argentine submarine, and says it has been "very unsettling" to see his fellow submariners in peril.

"We wish and are praying that their families and friends are being taken care of in this dire state, and a predominantly catastrophic and fairly unpredictable situation," Chu says.

The Argentine navy says an explosion occurred near the time and place where the sub went missing on Nov. 15, and that even if it's intact its crew may be running out of oxygen.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says Canada has sent a CC-144 Challenger aircraft with equipment to assist with the search and rescue efforts.

He says the twin-engine, long-range jet departed Halifax on Wednesday night in response to a request for assistance from the government of Argentina.

Sajjan said in a tweet on Thursday that his thoughts and prayers are with the submariners on the ARA San Juan.

More than a dozen airplanes and ships have been participating in the multinational search despite stormy weather that has caused powerful waves.

Search teams are ranging across an area of some 480,000 square kilometres, which is roughly the size of Spain.

Chu refused to speculate about what happened to the Argentine submarine.

He says all submariners are aware of the risks inherent to their job, but his crew has gone through extensive training to prepare for an emergency situation.

"I think if you're an experienced submariner, I think you're going to accept that our job is dangerous and rely on our training to get us through it," says Chu. …

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