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.
Ships and aircraft still are scouring the South Atlantic for the ARA San Juan, which disappeared November 15 a few hundred kilometers off Argentina's coast.
Spokesman Enrique Balbi said the rescue mission "extended for more than twice what is estimated for a rescue".
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.
Missing Argentine Submarine Update: Rescue For ARA San Juan Called Off
"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. It had been ordered to return to a naval base in Mar del Plata after reporting that water had entered the vessel through its snorkel. "The defense ministry announces the start of the next phase, aimed at searching for the San Juan submarine".
At least a dozen countries had joined the search and rescue efforts.
The San Juan, a German-built diesel-electric TR-1700 class submarine, was commissioned in the 1980s and was most recently refitted in 2014. "What they are really saying is that they're not going to be looking for it any more".
"I stay with this image", Jesica Gopar, said in a tweet that included a photo of her husband, submarine officer Fernando Santilli, smiling and holding their young son in his arms. "He's a hero who must be recognized along with his 43 other crew members".
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