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Indonesian Navy Says Submarine With 53 Crew Onboard Has Sunk

Indonesian Navy Says Submarine With 53 Crew Onboard Has Sunk

The Indonesian naval submarine went missing on Thursday near Bali

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

The Indonesian navy has said that they are no longer looking for any survivors from the submarine that went missing on Thursday, and that items have been found indicating that the vessel - along with 53 crew members - has sunk.

Naval chief Yudo Margono said that those involved in the rescue mission had recovered items such as parts of a torpedo straightener, a grease bottle believed to have been used to oil the periscope, and prayer rugs.

He said: "With the authentic evidence we found believed to be from the submarine, we have now moved from the sub miss phase to sub sunk."

The authorities Indonesia had confirmed that the submarine had gone missing off the coast of Bali on Thursday morning, but they have now declared the vessel as officially sank and with no hopes of finding any survivors.


The officials confirmed that the oxygen supply for the 53 crew members ran out early on Saturday.

A US reconnaissance plane, a P8 Poseidon, landed early Saturday and was set to join the search, along with 20 Indonesian ships, a sonar-equipped Australian warship and four Indonesian aircraft.

Singaporean rescue ships were also expected later on Saturday, while Malaysian rescue vessels were due to arrive on Sunday, bolstering the underwater hunt, Indonesia military spokesperson Djawara Whimbo said earlier Saturday.

He had said Indonesia's hydrographic vessel was still unable to detect an unidentified object exhibiting high magnetism that was earlier detected located at a depth of 50 to 100 metres (165 to 330 feet).

Indonesian President Joko Widodo had ordered all-out efforts to locate the submarine and asked Indonesians to pray for the crew's safe return.

The search focused on an area near the starting position of its last dive where an oil slick was found but there was no conclusive evidence so far the oil slick was from the sub.

Mr Margono, the navy chief, had said oil could have spilled from a crack in the submarine's fuel tank or the crew could have released fuel and fluids to reduce the vessel's weight so it could surface.


The navy however, believes the submarine sank to a depth of 600-700 metres (2,000-2,300 feet), much deeper than its collapse depth of 200 metres (655 feet), at which water pressure would be greater than the hull could withstand.

The cause of the disappearance is still uncertain.

The navy has said an electrical failure could have left the submarine unable to execute emergency procedures to resurface.

The German-built diesel-powered KRI Nanggala 402 has been in service in Indonesia since 1981 and was carrying 49 crew members and three gunners as well as its commander, the Indonesian defence ministry said.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands, has faced growing challenges to its maritime claims in recent years, including numerous incidents involving Chinese vessels near the Natuna islands.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: indonesia, World News, Asia