Search For Missing Argentine Sub No Longer A Rescue Mission, Navy Says

02 December, 2017, 01:18 | Author: Kim Reid
  • San Juan submarine

Relatives of Mario Armando Toconas, crew member of the missing ARA San Juan submarine, hug outside the navy base in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. The search operation for the wreck will continue.

The Argentine Navy states that they have abandoned attempts to rescue 44 crew members on board ARA San Juan that disappeared two weeks ago.

"Navy spokesman, Enrique Balbi stated that the search for the submarine had been extended to more than double the number of days that determine the possibilities of rescuing the crew".

Families of 44 crew members aboard a submarine that has been lost for 16 days are demanding that Argentina reverse its decision to stop looking for survivors.

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'It's unusually cruel. Every day, it's a new blow.

The captain later communicated by satellite phone the problem had been contained.

A navy spokesman said this week 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.

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The crew only had oxygen reserves to last for about one week. "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.

Authorities have said the level of maintenance, not the age, was what mattered, and that the vessel was in good condition.

During the $12 million retrofitting, the vessel was cut in half and had its engines and batteries replaced. President Mauricio Macri has promised a full investigation.

Experts say refits can be hard because they involve integrating systems produced by different manufacturers, and even the tiniest mistake during the cutting phase can put the safety of the ship and crew at risk. I hope you didn't suffer my love'.

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