Argentina formally ends search for sub survivors: Navy

Violet Powell
December 1, 2017

The rescue operation for crew members of the missing San Juan submarine was declared over on Thursday, but the search mission continues, Argentine Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi announced.

After a reported explosion near the site of where the ARA San Juan went down, crew only had about 10 days of oxygen to survive and that was only if the submarine remained intact.

44 crew members were on board the vessel.

Navy spokesperson Enrique Balbi said the mission had "extended for more than twice what is estimated for a rescue".

Some relatives of the crew broke into tears after they received the news. It had been ordered to return to a naval base in Mar del Plata after reporting that water had entered the vessel through its snorkel.

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"I don't understand this arbitrary and unjustified decision", Luis Tagliapietra, the father of 27-year-old crew member Alejandro Tagliapietra, told local TV.

The Argentine navy had previously saidthe vessel's captain reported a short circuit in the vessel's battery system shortly before the last known contact.

The RAF even landed one aircraft in the South American country to deliver supplies to help the search effort - the first time this had happened since the end of the Falklands War. The Argentine Navy said an intensive search for it began in the night hours of November 16. "What they are really saying is that they're not going to be looking for it any more".

At the sub's home naval base in Mar del Plata, relatives were hit hard by Thursday's announcement. Others took to social media to pay homage to their loved ones.

"He's the most handsome being that God could have put on my path 13 years ago", she wrote.

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