Argentina's missing submarine: 'No one will be rescued'

Argentina's missing submarine: 'No one will be rescued'

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 worldwide assistance, a navy spokesman said on Thursday.

Argentina's navy formally called off the "rescue mission" at the ARA San Juan's home naval base in Mar del Plata today, 15 days after it made its last contact with shore.

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.

Relatives of the crew broke down as the heard news of the navy discontinuing rescue operations for the 44 crew members. The Argentine Navy launched an intensive search and rescue operation on November 16.

Balbi said 28 ships, nine planes and 4,000 people from 18 countries were involved in the search covering 557,000 nautical miles; more, including radar monitoring.

"Despite the magnitude of these efforts, we've been unable to find the submarine".

Thousands assisted in the search

The ARA San Juan reported an incipient fire in its batteries three hours before it disappeared.

The search for the San Juan has employed some of the latest technology in one of the largest efforts of its kind.

A huge sea and air hunt was launched for for the San Juan, a German-built, diesel- and electric-powered submarine which was launched in 1983.

The submarine was ordered to cut short its mission and return to the naval base in Mar del Plata immediately.

"I stay with this image", Jesica Gopar, said in a tweet that included a photo of her husband, submarine officer Fernando Santilli, smiling and holding their young son in his arms. I hope you didn't suffer my love'.

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