Argentina says abandons submarine crew rescue mission

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Argentina's navy announced Thursday that the search for a missing submarine that has been lost for 15 days will continue but the rescue part of the mission is over, reflecting the faded hopes for finding the 44 crew members alive.

In the wake of the disappearance however, family members have publicly called for an investigation including asking questions about the age and condition of the vessel.

The ARA San Juan went missing on 15 November, while on patrol in the South Atlantic with 44 crew on board.

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The Argentine navy had previously saidthe vessel's captain reported a short circuit in the vessel's battery system shortly before the last known contact.

Some hours later, an explosion was detected near the time and place where the San Juan was last heard from.

The body, which operates a network of listening posts to monitor nuclear explosions, said that there had been a "hydro-acoustic anomaly" about 30 nautical miles (60km) north of the sub's last-known position at 10:31 (13:31 GMT).

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There was no evidence of any attack and no information on the cause of the noise, Balbi said last week.

Contact with the vessel was lost as San Juan travelled from Ushuaia to Mar del Plata - nearly exclusively by the country's coast.

The sub was a few hundred kilometers off the coast when it disappeared, roughly halfway between its departure point and destination.

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