Argentine navy: Noises not from missing submarine with crew of 44

PHOTO: Argentinas navy is leading a search for a submarine with 44 crew members on board with which it last had contact on Wednesday.PlayArgentine Navy
WATCH Desperate hunt for submarine and its 44 member crew

Argentina’s navy said late today that noises heard by two ships off the coast of Argentina were not from a submarine missing since last week, dashing the hopes of relatives of the 44 crew members on board.

Argentine ships looking for the ARA San Juan, an Argentine vessel last heard from on Wednesday, had picked up fairly persistent noises that were believed to have originated in an area about 225 miles east of Argentina’s Valdes Peninsula, in water believed with be about 650 feet deep, naval spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters in Buenos Aires earlier today.

Balbi said searchers focused on that area as the navy worked to determine if the sounds came from the sub.

It was the second time today that Argentine navy officials dashed hopes some sign of life may had come from the vessel.

PHOTO: People congregate at an Argentine naval base in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on Nov. 20, 2017, awaiting word of 44 crew members on an Argentine submarine missing since Nov. 15, 2017.Joe Goldman/ABC News
People congregate at an Argentine naval base in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on Nov. 20, 2017, awaiting word of 44 crew members on an Argentine submarine missing since Nov. 15, 2017.

The navy said Saturday it was investigating whether seven satellite signals heard that day were from the submarine, but today it said it had been determined that the signals were not from the vessel.

Also today, the navy said the commander of the missing sub had reported that it was having trouble with its batteries and was experiencing an “electrical fault.”

The commander reported the issues in a satellite communication Wednesday morning, according to information from the U.S.-based satellite communications company Iridium, naval officials said.

Wednesday was the last day the San Juan made contact, officials said.

PHOTO: Maria Krawczyk, a submarine officer on board the Argentine navy submarine ARA San Juan is seen in this still image taken from a Ministry of Defense of Argentina.Ministry of Defense of Argentina via Reuters
Maria Krawczyk, a submarine officer on board the Argentine navy submarine ARA San Juan is seen in this still image taken from a Ministry of Defense of Argentina.

Searchers continued Monday to search an area of over 186,000 square miles in the Atlantic Ocean off Argentina where it is thought the San Juan vanished.

The submarine went missing while traveling from a base in Ushia, Argentina, on South America’s southern tip, to its home base of Mar del Plata, farther north. It was last heard from about 275 miles off the San Jorge Gulf in southern Argentina, according to the navy.

High winds and waves reaching 20 to 26 feet high hampered search efforts over the weekend and were expected to continue to pose a problem until at least Tuesday, Argentine officials said.

The Argentine navy released video showing intense waves slamming against a ship participating in the search on Sunday.

In Mar del Plata, relatives of the missing sailors congregated and waited for updates.

The false hope from Saturday’s satellite signals and the ensuing letdown today have been emotionally wrenching for some family members.

PHOTO: This undated photo provided by the Argentina Navy shows an ARA San Juan, a German-built diesel-electric vessel, docked in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Argentina Navy via AP
This undated photo provided by the Argentina Navy shows an ARA San Juan, a German-built diesel-electric vessel, docked in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A brother of a machinist on the submarine suddenly interrupted an interview with ABC News today to say he had to tend to the wife of the machinist, Fernando Mendoza.

"I have to run," said the brother, Carlos Mendoza. "My sister-in-law just fainted in her room in the base."

Marcela Tagliapetra, a relative of another sailor aboard the submarine, said she felt despair.

“We are waiting for good news so we can have something to celebrate,” she told ABC News. “We are going to get it. We are sure that we are going to get it.”

Among those aboard the missing vessel is Argentina’s first female submarine officer, Eliana Maria Krawczyk.

Several nations have sent airplanes and ships to help Argentina with the search, including the U.S., which has provided several planes and unmanned underwater vehicles for the effort.

PHOTO: Signs with messages in support of the crew of the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan hang from the fence at the Navel base in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Nov. 19, 2017. Vicente Robles/AP
Signs with messages in support of the crew of the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan hang from the fence at the Navel base in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Nov. 19, 2017.

ABC News’ Joe Goldman reported from Mar del Plata, Argentina, and ABC News’ Elizabeth McLaughlin contributed reporting from Washington.

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