Argentina ends rescue mission for crew of missing submarine

ARA San Juan: Argentina calls off rescue mission for missing submarine crew but continues search for vessel

Ships and aircraft still are scouring the South Atlantic for the ARA San Juan, which disappeared November 15 a few hundred kilometers off Argentina's coast.

The decision to end the rescue mission comes after the Argentine navy said that a sound thought to be an explosion had been detected by U.S. and specialist agencies leading the search.

Relatives of the crew broke down as the heard news of the navy discontinuing rescue operations for the 44 crew members.

The search for a missing Argentine submarine will continue but the rescue part of the plan has ended, a spokesman for the navy said on Thursday.

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The Argentine navy described an "anomalous, short, violent", explosion near where the submarine went missing, prompting many to fear the crew had died.

The search mission would involve a reorganization of the vessels and other assets that have been deployed, and the operation will continue until the submarine is found, he said.

"Despite the magnitude of our search it has not been possible to find the submarine", he said.

The crew had about seven to 10 days worth of oxygen to survive on the submarine if the vessel remained intact.

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An global search mission saw the deployment of 4,000 personnel from more than a dozen countries.

The San Juan, a German-built diesel-electric TR-1700 class submarine, was commissioned in the 1980s and was most recently refitted in 2014.

Luis Taglapietra, whose son Damián was a 27-year-old trainee, told the TN news channel: "This is perverse and impossible to understand".

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