Argentina no longer looking for survivors from missing sub

Katrina Barker
Декабря 1, 2017

The navy has shifted its mission from rescue to recovery, spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters.

The global search for the 44 crew of the missing ARA San Juan submarine has officially been called off by the Argentine Navy, although the search for the vessel will continue in shallow waters.

The formal end to the rescue effort means that vessels carrying life-saving devices will leave the search area, while additional equipment for search missions at great depths will be deployed.

"Despite the magnitude of our search it has not been possible to find the submarine".

Some family members have denounced the navy's response to the sub's disappearance as well as the age and condition of the vessel.

The navy also had said an explosion was detected near the time and place where the ARA San Juan made its last contact with shore November 15.

The navy has said the vessel's captain reported that water entered the snorkel and caused one of the submarine's batteries to short circuit.

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Some hours later, an explosion was detected near the time and place where the San Juan was last heard from.

An worldwide armada of rescue ships backed by aircraft - and thousands of personnel - has been hunting for the submarine for days, with no success.

Relatives embraced after the announcement on Thursday at the submarine's home naval base.

"It destroyed the minimal hope that I had", Luis Tagliapietra, father of one of the crew members, told the broadcaster TN.

"I continue to maintain my hope and faith. What they are really saying is that they're not going to be looking for it any more".

The government has pledged a thorough investigation once the search for the ARA San Juan has concluded.

The loss of the submarine represents a huge blow to the country's already under-equipped military. The navy says the fire caused no flames and was put out.

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