More than a week after an Argentine military submarine vanished, the search for the craft was still underway. While the ARA San Juan likely only a seven day supply of oxygen left when it reported its last position Nov. 15, a navy official said it was still possible the 44 crew members on board were still alive.

“I can say that there is no clear certainty about the situation with the submarine,” Argentinian Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said at a press conference Sunday. “We are trying to be respectful. Even though the search has already been continuing for 11 days, it could not be ruled out that they might be in a situation of extreme survival.”

The submarine’s last known location was off the coast of southern Argentina, near Puerto Madryn, where the navy was conducting a training exercise. The vessel was headed from Ushuaia to the Mar del Plata naval base.

A search comprised of several nations was underway in a race against time to rescue the crew members. Argentina, the United States, Russia, the UK, Chile, Norway, Germany, Canada, France, Peru, Colombia and Uruguay were all involved in the search for the vessel. 

The fate of the submarine remained unknown, though a sound recorded hours after the submarine lost contact with land may have indicated an implosion on the ship. Authorities said they had not confirmed any sort of explosion but said they were looking into the possibility. Other reports suggested sounds akin to tools being banged against the hull were detected by sonar systems.

“We are at a stage of hope and hopelessness at the same time,” Balbi said. “We will not speculate beyond the facts as we know them.”

Families of those on board leveled accusations of unsafe conditions against the Argentine navy. Itati Leguizamon, the wife of crew member German Suarez, said they “sent a piece of crap to sail," according to reports.

The navy, however, insisted the 34-year-old submarine was safe and in good condition when it was sent to sea this month, according to BBC News. Balbi said there had been a check on the “whole operating system” two days before the vessel set sail.

“The submarine doesn’t sail if that’s not done,” Balbi told reporters Saturday. “If it set off from Ushuaia, it was because it was in condition to do so.”

Argentine Submarine Almost two months after an Argentine military submarine went missing, “new objects” were discovered in the search for the vessel. Photo: Getty Images