Argentine Submarine ARA San Juan
The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan and crew are seen leaving the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jun. 2, 2014. The last known communication from the submarine reportedly discussed a battery failure. Getty Images

A missing Argentine submarine reportedly sent one final message before it lost communication earlier this month. The ARA San Juan revealed a fire on board the vessel as well as a leak that caused the submarine's battery to short circuit, according to the message, obtained by Argentine television channel A24.

The communication was sent Nov. 15 at 8:52 a.m. by the commander of ARA San Juan, A24 reported, according to the Telegraph. Previous statements from officials said the submarine was last heard from at 7:30 a.m. that day.

“Entry of sweater through the ventilation system into a battery tank No. 3 caused a short circuit and the beginnings of a fire in the battery room,” the message reportedly said. “Bow batteries out of service. At the moment in immersion propelling with split circuit. No updates on personnel, will keep informed.”

Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters that the submarine was ordered to return to its base at Mar del Plata after it communicated that water had entered the submarine, Reuters reported.

“They had to isolate the battery and continue to sail underwater toward Mar del Plata, using another battery,” Balbi said.

ARA San Juan Family
Relatives and friends of Alejandro Damian Tagliapietra, one of the 44 crew members of the missing at sea ARA San Juan submarine, react outside an Argentine naval base in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Nov. 24, 2017. The banner reads "Camarades, be strong". Getty Images

In the days after the submarine went missing, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization, which listens for secret atomic blasts, said it heard a noise from underwater that may have been the result of the submarine’s implosion. Authorities said they had not confirmed any sort of explosion on the craft but said they were looking into the possibility.

The search for the vessel and its 44 crew members was still underway Tuesday. The submarine, however, only had a seven day supply of oxygen left when it lost contact almost two weeks ago. Despite that, officials said it was still possible the crew might be in an “extreme survival situation.” It remained possible that the submarine may have risen near the surface in order to replenish the oxygen on board before it went missing, a scenario some families have seized upon as hope that their loved ones are still alive. Others, however, are not sure.

“There is no way they are alive,” Itati Leguizamon, the wife of crew member German Suarez, told reporters. “It is not that I want this. I love him. I adore him. He left his mother and sister behind, but there is no sense in being stubborn. The other families are attacking me for what I am saying. But why have they not found it yet? Why don’t they tell us the truth?”