BUENOS AIRES, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Argentina's Navy (ARA) on Tuesday pledged to continue paying wages to the families of the 44 crew members who lost their lives when their submarine sank in the South Atlantic in November.
The measure was meant to show the navy's "commitment" to the families of the victims of the ARA San Juan submarine, which disappeared on Nov. 15 following some kind of blast, the ARA said.
"A demonstration of the commitment assumed is to continue paying the (crew's) wages to the direct families," the navy said in a statement, saying it would also pursue "new initiatives and forms of assistance to improve the institutional response" to the tragedy.
The navy said it created a Permanent Center of Attention, mainly for the wives or parents of the lost crew, at the Mar del Plata Naval Base "to respond, though all communication channels (telephone, email, post), to any needs and concerns that may arise."
The search for the submarine is ongoing, with three ships currently sweeping the supposed site of the accident.
Right after the submarine sank, an initial search and rescue operation was launched to potentially save the crew, but finding the vessel has proven difficult.
Eight days later, on Nov. 23, the navy announced there was no hope of finding survivors, but it would continue to search for the vessel in hopes of retrieving the bodies.
The German-made TR-1700 submarine acquired in 1985 was last located in the San Jorge Gulf, 432 kilometers south of Argentina's Valdes Peninsula.