The Argentine Navy has almost lost hope of searching for the missing submarine with 44 crew members on board. The submarine has been missing for already two weeks and reports said that it experienced a catastrophic event in mid-November.
Capt. Enrique Balbi, a navy spokesman, said that 28 ships, nine planes and 4,000 people from 18 countries were searching for the missing submarine in about 557,000 nautical miles. He further said that despite the magnitude of their search it has not been possible to find the submarine, as noted by EWN.
Balbi, who seemed to be disappointed, added that “no evidence of a shipwreck was found in the areas explored.” This includes that search for a wreck on the seabed, in which the ARA San Juan is thought to have disappeared.
The families and relatives of the 44 sailors have also given up hope after hearing that there was an explosion in the area where the submarine was last in contact. The captain of the submarine was able to report the leak that had damaged the battery system of the submarine during that contact.
Still, the relatives of the missing crew are hoping for a miracle and are continually giving prayers. Carlos Miguel Mendoza, the brother of a missing sailor, Fernando Mendoza, said that on some days he felt hopeless and he would run into somebody or received a message that there could be a possibility of finding them alive, then suddenly he would be filled with hope again. However, Carlos said that all is said and done and they are, sadly, no longer alive, as noted by New York Times.
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) December 1, 2017
The ARA San Juan was about to return from a routine mission to Ushuaia when it was reported that it had an “electrical breakdown.” Then, it was ordered to return to the naval base in Mar del Plata immediately. The last contact was on November 15, in which the captain of the submarine reported that the crew was in good condition, according to BBC News.
The submarine was controlled by Pedro Martin Fernandez with 44 crew. One of them was a woman, Eliana Maria Krawczyk, 35, who was the first female officer in Argentina to serve on the Navy submarine. This could be the biggest loss of life in the navy ever recorded in almost two decades if they are not found.