Argentina ABANDONS hope of finding survivors on lost submarine ARA San Juan

Argentina ABANDONS hope of finding survivors on lost submarine ARA San Juan

Argentina ABANDONS hope of finding survivors on lost submarine ARA San Juan

Argentina has given up on rescuing 44 crew members on a submarine that disappeared 15 days ago, though it will continue the search for the vessel with global assistance, a navy spokesman said on Thursday.

At the same time, Balbi insisted that efforts to find the German-built ARA San Juan would continue to a maximum depth of 500 meters - an announcement met with anger by relatives of the missing 44 crew.

While at the Argentine port city of Comodoro Rivadavia, the Russian experts loaded three containers of the Pantera Plus unmanned submersible on board, as well as diving and underwater equipment.

Contact with the San Juan diesel-electric submarine, carrying 44 crew members, was lost on November 15.

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"We've had 28 ships, nine aircrafts, 4000 people involved, 18 countries supporting", he told reporters. On December 1, the Argentine Navy declared that the rescue operation was over but the search for the submarine continues. "Water had entered the submarine's snorkel, which can be used to take in air from above the surface when the submarine is submerged", the BBC says.

It was advised to divert to Mar del Plata to have the problem fixed, and the captain later commuincated via satellite phone that the problem had been contained. A navy spokesman said this week that the blast could have been triggered by a "concentration of hydrogen" caused by the battery problem reported by the captain.

That was the last communication received from the submarine before a loud noise, possibly and implosion, was detected from around the area where it vanished.

The submarine was ordered to cut short its mission and return to the naval base in Mar del Plata immediately. 'He's a hero who must be recognized along with his 43 other crew members.

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