Argentine Navy ends rescue operation for missing submarine - spokesman

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

The submarine, ARA San Juan was returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia, near the southernmost tip of South America, when it reported an "electrical breakdown".

The submarine has been missing for 15 days.Argentine Air Force members during search operations for the missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan, at sea off the coast of Argentina.

"No one will be rescued", Balbi said.

After contact with the San Juan was lost, the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization, an worldwide body that runs a global network of listening posts created to check for secret atomic blasts, detected a noise the navy said could have been the submarine's implosion.

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

"Despite the magnitude of the effort made, it has not been possible to locate the submarine", he said, referring to the global response that included ships, aircraft and personnel from the United States, United Kingdom, Chile and Russian Federation.

"I don't understand this arbitrary and unjustified decision", Luis Tagliapietra, the father of 27-year-old crew member Alejandro Tagliapietra, told local reporters.

The Argentine navy said it didn't know about the explosion-like sound until last week, when the United States and an global organization said they had uncovered the acoustic data. 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. Some hugged and fell on their knees sobbing near a fence crowded with blue-and-white Argentine flags, rosary beads and messages of support.

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