Local officials said the submarine’s crew members only had enough oxygen to survive until Saturday.
April 22, 2021
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At 3 a.m. local time, the KRI Nanggala-402, a German-made submarine with 53 crew members, applied for diving permission, officials said. Before making the request, the submarine fired a torpedo with live ammunition and a practice warhead as part of a training exercise in the Bali Strait.
According to Admiral Yudo Margono, Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy, before the ship entered the exercise and lost contact, it landed for the last maintenance in Surabaya, a port city on the island of Java.
Authorities believe the submarine exceeded the maximum limit of 500 meters below sea level from 100 to 200 meters due to a power outage. Although officials said that the crew members on board were well prepared, they admitted that the submarine’s depth could be fatal.
“Let’s pray for them, so they can survive,” First Indonesian Navy spokesman Julius Widjojono told the media.
Two ships with side-sweeping sonar have been passing through the area since Wednesday. A warship with more sophisticated sonar technology is expected soon to join the rescue efforts. Based on Reuters, Several countries – including Malaysia, Singapore and Australia – have also asked for assistance.
President Joko Widodo said: “I have ordered the commander of the military, the Chief of Staff of the Navy, the search and rescue agency and other agencies to deploy all the best forces and efforts to Search and rescue the submarine crew, “President Joko Widodo said on Thursday.
An aerial search of the strait revealed an oil slick near the submarine’s dive site, indicating that the ship may have been damaged, authorities said. Navy Chief of Staff Margono added, an object with “high magnetic force” floating at a depth of 50 to 100 meters was also found.