The Argentine Navy says the rescue operation for the crew of the missing submarine ARA San Juan is over, as no chance remains of finding the sailors alive. The search operation for the wreck will continue.
After a 15-day search and rescue operation, no trace has been found of the missing submarine or its crew of 44, navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said at a media briefing. The rescuers have allowed for twice the possible time that the crew could have remained alive.
“More than double the number of days have passed where it would have been possible to rescue the crew,” Balbi said.
On the morning of November 15, contact was lost with the submarine of the Argentine Navy ARA ‘San Juan’ during its journey from Ushuaia to Mar del Plata, a journey along almost the entire Argentine coast. The last signs of the vessel were recorded almost halfway through the journey, in the San Jorge Gulf bay.
The navy earlier said the vessel’s captain had reported a short circuit after water had entered the submarine’s snorkel. It seems that the problem was contained and the ‘San Juan’ continued on its way. However, it is possible that the battery malfunction created a “concentration of hydrogen” that later caused an explosion, detected near the submarine’s last known location.
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