One day after the first anniversary of its disappearance on November 15, 2017, the missing ARA San Juan submarine has been found.
The stunning news, which has been confirmed by the Defence Ministry, the Navy and the US firm leading the search for the vessel, arrived in the early hours of Saturday morning.
On Thursday, Ocean Infinity – the North American company that was set to suspend its search just 48 hours ago – confirmed that an object, approximately 60 metres long, had been discovered at a depth of 800 metres.
After heading to the site with its vessel, Seabed Constructor, to investigate, the company says it positively identified the object as the ARA San Juan. The Defence Ministry and the Navy confirmed the news via Twitter.
"The #MinisterioDeDefensa and the #ArmadaArgentina report that on this day, having investigated the point of interest No. 24 reported by Ocean Infinity, through observation made with a ROV at 800 metres deep, the #AraSanJuan has been positively identified," a post read.
The family members were notified before the news was made public.
The Navy has been fiercely criticised for its handling of the operation since first reporting the submarine overdue at Mar del Plata on November 16.
It was only several days into the tragedy that Navy officials acknowledged the old, German-built submarine had reported a problem with its batteries in its final communication on November 15. And nearly 10 days later, Navy officials confirmed there had been an explosion on board, which experts said was likely linked to the battery problem.
Several senior officers were dismissed, including Navy chief Marcelo Srur, and many of the families have expressed anger and disappointment at the government's efforts to find their missing relatives.