Argentine navy not giving hope of submarine survivors

A relative of one of the sub's crew members of being comforted outside the navy base in Mar del Plata

A relative of one of the sub's crew members of being comforted outside the navy base in Mar del Plata

Argentina's navy insisted a missing submarine appeared to be in good condition before it set off on a training mission, despite fears it later exploded under the sea with 44 crew members aboard.

The captain, however, later told navy officials via satellite phone that the problem had been fixed and the boat would operate submerged and would continue heading towards the port of Mar del Plata.

The hope that any crew members survived was dimming as the search hit 10 days.

The US capsule can sink to a depth of 200 meters (660 feet) and rescue up to 16 trapped submarine sailors at a time in shifts of 20 minutes, experts said.

On Saturday, a brother of one of the submarine's junior officers told Sputnik that the number of people on board of Argentina's missing San Juan submarine allegedly exceeded the prescribed number as 44 were on board instead of prescribed 37 crew members.

"I'm here to guarantee you that we will carry on with the search, especially now that we have the support of all the worldwide community". "I'm waiting for a surprise, but I'm not really counting on it", said Luis Tagliapietra, the father of 27-year-old crew member Alejandro Damian Tagliapietra.

The Argentinian Navy official also stressed that there is no established time limit for the submarine's search.

"They killed my brother!" a man leaving the base in a vehicle shouted out to reporters. "First we have to have certainty of what happened and why it happened", said Macri.

"We need to understand how a submarine that had undergone a midlife refit, and that was in flawless conditions to sail, suffered this explosion".

The Argentine navy said Russian Federation is sending an Antonov transport aircraft and a ship in the southern Patagonian port of Comodoro Rivadavia is being adapted to carry a United States navy submarine rescue chamber to the area.

ARA San Juan, a German-built diesel-electric sub, left the port of Ushuaia on November 8 on a training mission. The submarine originally went into service in 1985.

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