2017 Nov - ARA San Juan submarine lost



Buenas Tardes. Sres. de Tomnod. Foro. Quisiera saber si hay campaña de búsqueda para el submarino San Juan perdido o extraviado en el sur de Argentina. GRACIAS.AAlguien puede responder.?


A post was split to a new topic: From San juan posting


My Espanol is limited: Buenas Tardes = Good Afternoon. I am trying to find the present search crowding for the missing Submarine off coast of Argentina. Do you know how I can access it?



Is there a cost involved when signing the SAR contract?


I’m sorry Joanne, I have no idea; I don’t work for TN, I’m just a fellow volunteer.

I dare say though, the military already have access to their own satellite imagery with this being a military search; they probably have access to more high tech resources from the various countries volunteering their assistance have also.


Here is a link to a US Today article that addresses the request for the US Navy to assist in the search for this vessel and it’s crew of 44 souls on board.

One thing to keep on mind about satellite imagery is that it’s depends on an unobstructed area to photograph and a last known location. The latest weather reports from the area of lost contact has been and continues to be high winds and choppy seas. - AKE (Forum Moderator)


Me llamo Claudia Pagano. He participado en la campaña de búsqueda con imágenes de Tomnod cuando se perdió el velero Tunante .


My name is Claudia Pagano. I participated in the search campaign with images of Tomnod when the sailboat Tunante was lost.


Info only:

It sounds like the sub has not surfaced.


Thank you for your reply EmeraldEyes. The one (1) thing that comes to mind is that I spent many hours looking into MH370 disappearance and found a couple of noteworthy items that I shared with TomNod. And yes, I learned days into the search that the Navy was also looking. However, like any of us, they are each one (1) person (end user) sitting at a computer and painstakingly going through one (1) block area at a time. And with Crowdsourcing, WE ARE EACH A MEMBER OF THE WORLD lending a hand. I pray that all the souls, as you pointed out, on board are alive and well. And I pray that the helping hands already involved in the search are able to find the San Juan Submarine in time to save the lives of each and every Sailor - Amen.


A post was split to a new topic: Copy of post under ARA San Juan


I have sent an email to TOMNOD asking for clarification if there is/are any cost(s) involved in submitting an SAR request form etc.


Again, I have sent an email to TOMNOD asking for clarification on cost(s), let’s hope not, I am not in a position to offer anything more than my time and effort. Let’s hope they initiate this on their own accord in the meantime. God Bless the Sailors in that Submarine - it may only be surface that is visible via TOMNOD, but they do pick up shadows/shiny objects below the surface - as you said, WILMS, if I was in that Submarine, I’d be praying that anyone/everyone was doing their utmost to look regardless of title or stature in life - AMEN


I agree with you Joanne; regardless of the logistics of such a search, every eye on the search is could help in some way even it’s only to eliminate search areas. I too searched on the Tunante campaign as well as the catamaran, Sunsail RC044-978 and the MH370 and would happily give up time to search for the sub too.

The main issue for TN would be finding clear images considering the weather conditions down there. But I dare say they’ll look at any viable imagery covering the area for that time frame, if they haven’t done so already.

Wednesday 15th Nov

Thurs 16th

Fri 17th

Sat 18th



As I and the other Forum Moderator have pointed out, the search area has been under powerful winds and waves 6 meters high. "Poor conditions were expected to continue until Sunday afternoon (local time), said a person in the navy who was not authorised to comment publicly and requested anonymity."

Everything I’ve ever read about subs is that they would remain underwater if at all possible in bad weather. It limits damage. This sub can release a (not sure of the name for it) that goes to the surface so they can try to make contact. However, every clue so far points to a difficulty in connecting and maintaining communication, based on the calls on Saturday only lasting 3 seconds to 40+ seconds… The authorities do not know the cause of the problem.

If the sub is below water, Tomnod’s satellites cannot look underwater. (We had a Forum discussion about this about a year ago.)

The weather means heavy clouds, which will obstruct imagery. Fierce winds with high seas means, at the height Tomnod maintains above the Earth, would mean limited visibility on the ocean surface. We’d be seeing deep troughs and frothy whitecaps. And again, any sub captain will take his/her sub below to stay out of rough waters and terrible weather.

See this comment in response to a weather question and submarines (Earth Sciences - Are submarines affected by storms? In other words, how ‘deep’ do storms go?)
: “If you look at either salinity or temperature data for a specific area, you will notice that at some point the salinity (If you are close to shore) changes abruptly. That point is called the pyncocline. In deeper waters you will see the temperature change abruptly, that is called the thermocline.
Below either of these lines, there is little to no mixing of water from above. So as long as the submarine goes below those levels, they should feel no ill effect from the storm.
The precise level varies from place to place, sometimes significantly.” From a Q&A site.

e.g. Unless contraindicated by another reason (think of Hunt for Red October movie’s “emergency” that made them need to surface), a sub will stay down during storms, where the waters are not affected by winds and waves.
Military have covered over half of the search area already-- no sub found on the surface… Hint that they are submerged— not necessarily bad, since that’s what subs are made to do.

Tomnod does a lot of humanitarian campaigns. But it’s also important to recognize limitations that are inherent in crowdsourcing for ocean searches especially in the middle of a storm. .



I am not an employee, and do not speak for Tomnod Staff, but I believe this statement on Tomnod’s SAR webpage answers your question. Note the phrase “complimentary service”.

“If your SAR campaign application is accepted, Tomnod’s complimentary service obligations are limited to the following:”

Tomnod Forum Mod



The “distress” calls were not really distress calls, but incomplete attempts to make contact, lasting from 3 secs to 43 seconds (as I addressed, above) with no communication made. It could fit with the theory that the sub suffered an electrical problem.


It was just on Sky news when I posted that. To my mind, incomplete or not, it gives great hope (and the best news to date) that they will be found and brought back to port where their families await :pray: