BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Argentinean submarine, which went missing last week with 44 people on board, had reported a malfunction in its battery system, leading military command to order a change of course, said Captain Gabriel Galeazzi to the press on Monday.
The spokesperson for the navy at the Mar de Plata naval base, said that the submarine, ARA San Juan, transmitted this report, prior to its final communication before losing contact, which is why the problem is not being directly linked with the submarine's mysterious disappearance.
The news of the battery malfunction let authorities to order the submarine to take a shorter, more direct route to the Mar del Plata naval base.
Another spokesperson, Enrique Balbi, said from Buenos Aires that "the malfunction could not be associated to the disappearance. This had been notified earlier, the submarine had a problem in its electrical power equipment."
Also on Monday, President Mauricio Macri visited the Mar del Plata naval base to meet with the families of the missing sailors. He also met with local commanders who apprised him of the latest information in the international search and rescue mission for the submarine.
Writing on Twitter last week, Macri said that "we are committed to using all necessary national and international resources to find the ARA San Juan submarine as fast as possible."
The ARA San Juan is a TR-1700 submarine manufactured in Germany, and joined the Argentine Navy in 1985.