Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#TECH 24

WorldRemit: Helping migrant workers send money back home

Read more

FOCUS

The challenges awaiting the new leader of South Africa's ANC

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Bangladeshi PM calls violence in Myanmar 'unacceptable'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

Read more

ENCORE!

Rhiannon Giddens strikes out on her 'Freedom Highway'

Read more

#THE 51%

Not such a feminist paradise: Iceland struggles to deal with violence towards women

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Climate change: Half of Mexico's coffee plantations have disappeared

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The legendary Swallow Line train in France's Jura region

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Japanese FM against 'dialogue for the sake of dialogue' with Pyongyang

Read more

Americas

Argentina ends efforts to rescue sub survivors

© Handout / Argentine Navy / AFP | Handout picture taken in 2014 and released by the Argentine Navy on November 18 showing submarine ARA San Juan docked in Buenos Aires.

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-12-01

Argentina's navy on Thursday formally ended its search for survivors from the San Juan submarine, two weeks after the vessel went missing in the South Atlantic with 44 crew aboard.

The navy has shifted its mission from rescue to recovery, spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters.

He said while it was not possible to definitively confirm the crew had perished, "no evidence of a shipwreck was found in the areas explored" and the international rescue effort had continued for "twice the time" it was estimated they could have survived.

"Despite the vast efforts made, we have been unable to locate the submarine," he said, though adding that international efforts to find the vessel would continue.

The US navy said Thursday it had deployed an unmanned recovery vehicle to join the hunt. The US had already provided other assistance, as did about a dozen other countries.

‘Search focuses on recovery of missing, moribund vessel’, says FRANCE 24’s Declan McGarvey

Explosion on board likely

The navy's final contact with the ARA San Juan, a 34-year-old German-built diesel-electric sub, came on November 15, when it was sailing in the South Atlantic 450 kilometers (280 miles) from the coast.

In its final communication, the submarine reported it had overcome a mechanical breakdown that resulted from a short circuit due to the entry of water via the vessel's snorkel.

Three hours later, a noise similar to an explosion was recorded 48 kilometers from where the crew had given its last report.

The position was in line with the path the submarine would have taken to reach its base in Mar del Plata as planned, the navy has said.

An international armada of rescue ships backed by aircraft -- and thousands of personnel -- has been hunting for the submarine for days, with no success.

Relatives of the missing had mixed feelings about Thursday's announcement.

"They just threw away the last hope we had," said Luis Tagliapietra, the 46-year-old father of one of the missing submariners.

But Jorge Villareal, whose son Fernando was the ship's lieutenant, refused to give up.

"I continue to maintain my hope and faith. Our optimism is intact, no matter what they say," Villareal told AFP.

Among the ARA San Juan's crew was Argentina's first female navy submariner: Eliana Krawczyk, 35.

The loss of the submarine represents a huge blow to the country's already under-equipped military.

And the navy has come under fire for its handling of the tragedy, as it failed to mention the problem reported by the vessel for several days after its disappearance.

(AFP)

Date created : 2017-11-30

  • ARGENTINA

    'Explosion' dashes last hopes for missing Argentine submarine

    Read more

  • ARGENTINA

    'Explosion' heard near Argentine sub's last known position

    Read more

  • ARGENTINA

    Reason for hope in growing search for missing Argentinian submarine

    Read more

COMMENT(S)