Wreckage found in hunt for lost Indonesian submarine: A prayer mat and a piece of torpedo are the only trace of sunken vessel as military chiefs rule out hope of finding survivors from 53 man crew
- TKRI Nanggala-402, carrying 53, vanished in 2,300ft waters near Bali this week
- Rescuers found items including grease bottle for periscope and prayer rugs
- Submarine now declared as officially sunk with no hopes of finding any survivors
- Officials said oxygen supply on missing KRI Nanggala ran out early on Saturday
Wreckage has been found in the hunt for the lost Indonesian submarine with 53 crew members after search teams discovered items from the sunken vessel, said the country’s navy.
Rescuers found several items including parts of a torpedo straightener, a grease bottle believed to be used to oil the periscope and prayer rugs from the submarine, according to Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Yudo Margono.
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.’
Indonesia earlier considered the submarine that disappeared on Thursday off Bali as just missing. But it now declares the submarine as officially sunk with no hopes of finding any survivors.
Officials said oxygen supply on the KRI Nanggala-402, which vanished on Wednesday as it prepared to conduct a torpedo drill, ran out early Saturday.
Rescuers found several items including parts of a torpedo straightener, a grease bottle believed to be used to oil the periscope and prayer rugs from the submarine
A military officer holds a piece of debris believed to be from the missing Indonesian Navy submarine KRI Nanggala during a press conference in Ngurah Rai Airport, Bali
A material believed to be a prayer mat from the crew area of the missing Indonesian submarine is displayed during a press conference in Bali, Indonesia, on Saturday
Indonesian Navy Chief Handi Tjahjanto, centre, and Indonesia police chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo, right, speak to media as they display debris found in the waters during their search
Debris believed to be from the missing submarine is held up by a military officer. The vessel has been declared as officially sunk with no hopes of finding any survivors
Rescue teams had been battling against time to find the 44-year-old submarine, which officials said would only have enough air to last until around 3am Saturday morning – 8pm Friday BST.
An American reconnaissance plane, P-8 Poseidon, had landed early Saturday and is 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 Saturday, while Malaysian rescue vessels were due to arrive on Sunday.
Indonesia military spokesperson Djawara Whimbo previously said: ‘We keep doing the search until we find it and whatever the result.’
The submarine lost contact after its last reported dive Wednesday off the resort island.
An Indonesian air force pilot said six tonnes of equipment had been flown to a base to help with the search including underwater balloons to help lift a vessel.
Indonesia’s navy says items have been found from a missing submarine, indicating the vessel with 53 crew members has sunk, according to Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Yudo Margono
A member of Indonesian Navy personnel walks past a map of the searching area for the submarine KRI Nanggala-402
A military officer looks at pictures of the crew members on the missing KRI Nanggala which is feared to have ran out of oxygen
But Whimbo 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 meters (165 to 330 feet).
He said: ‘The object is floating in the water, so maybe it is moving.’
The country’s navy previously said it was investigating whether the submarine lost power during a dive and could not carry out emergency procedures as it descended to a depth of 600-700 metres, well beyond its survivable limits.
There have been no signs of life from the submarine, but family members of the 53 crew members have held out hope that the massive search effort would find the vessel in time.
Ratih Wardhani, the sister of 49-year-old crewman Wisnu Subiyantor, had said: ‘The family is in a good condition and keeps praying. We are optimistic that the Nanggala can be rescued with all the crew.’
Berda Asmara, the wife of crew member Guntur Ari Prasetyo, 39, who has sailed on the Nanggala for 10 years, said: ‘I hope that they will be found alive. We had a video call. He told me that he would go sailing and asked me to pray for him.’
Indonesian SAR Agency (BASARNAS) vessel arrive at pier Tanjung Wangi for the search of submarine KRI Nanggala 402
Indonesian Navy’s KRI Karel Satsuitubun-356 is seen while preparing to dock at Tanjung Wangi port, as it is being prepared for rescue operation of the KRI Nanggala-402
The KRI Alugoro seen yesterday as it helped search for the missing submarine which is feared to have been lost with all hands
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.
Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Yudo Margono 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 meters (2,000-2,300 feet), much deeper than its collapse depth of 200 meters (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 submarine was conducting a torpedo drill in waters 60 miles north of the island of Bali
On Friday, the Pentagon said U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had spoken with his Indonesian counterpart and offered additional support, which could include undersea search assets.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday the ‘United States would do everything possible to support Indonesia’s search and rescue effort,’ a spokeswoman said.
Two Australian Navy ships were heading for the search area including a frigate with special sonar capabilities, the defence department said.
Neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia as well as the United States and Australia are also among the nations helping in the hunt with nearly two dozen warships deployed to scour a search zone covering about 10 square nautical miles (34 square kilometres).
Indonesia operates five submarines – two German-built Type 209s including Nanggala and three newer South Korean vessels.
The military said it picked up signs of an object with high magnetism at a depth of between 165 and 330 feet (50 and 100 metres)
Despite hopes for a miracle, an oil spill (pictured) spotted where the submarine was thought to have submerged pointed to possible fuel-tank damage
It has been seeking to modernise its defence capabilities but some of its equipment is old and there have been fatal accidents in recent years.
Late yesterday, the military said it picked up signs of an object with high magnetism at a depth of between 50 and 100 metres (165 and 330 feet).
Ships equipped with specialised tracking equipment were deployed in the hope that the object could be the KRI Nanggala 402.
Yesterday, the US military said it would send airborne teams to help in the search, while Australia said two ships were on their way to assist.
Neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia have already dispatched ships that are expected to arrive at the weekend, including the city-state’s MV Swift Rescue – a submarine rescue vessel.
Officers prepare a helicopter before taking part in the search operation for the missing Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala
Berda Asmara is married to Guntur Ari Prasetyo, 39, who had been expected to return home from the submarine training mission at the weekend
India said Thursday it had sent a ship to assist in the hunt.
‘If there is serious damage on the boat itself, it could potentially mean a few things, for example, there will be very limited spaces for the crew with very limited oxygen,’ said Collin Koh, a naval affairs specialist and research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
A hydro-oceanographic survey ship equipped with underwater detection capabilities also was on its way to the torpedo drilling site, where an oil slick was found.
Margono said the oil slick may have been caused by a crack in the submarine’s tank after the vessel sank.
Indonesia’s navy said it was possible an electrical failure occurred during the dive, causing the submarine to lose control and become unable to undertake emergency procedures that would have allowed it to resurface.
Indonesian rescue workers (above) search for the missing submarine as Navy chiefs fear the worst
Indonesian marines are out in full force to track down the submarine that has sparked an international rescue operation
French navy vice admiral Antoine Beaussant has warned that the submarine was not built to withstand such a depth.
‘If it went down to rest at 700 metres the likelihood is it would have broken up,’ he said. 700 metres is around 2,296ft. The submarine is only built to withstand depths of up to 820ft below sea-level.
Indonesian rescuers searching for a missing Navy submarine have found an oil spill near the vessel’s dive location in the waters off Bali.
Officials fear the vessel sank to the bottom of a trough with a depth of 2,300ft during a torpedo military exercise. The navy has deployed a number of warships to search for the missing crew.
Frank Owen, secretary of the Submarine Institute of Australia, also said the submarine could be at too great a depth for a rescue team to operate.
‘Most rescue systems are really only rated to about 1,970ft (600m),’ he said. ‘They can go deeper than that because they will have a safety margin built into the design, but the pumps and other systems that are associated with that may not have the capacity to operate. So they can survive at that depth, but not necessarily operate.’
Owen, a former submariner who developed an Australian submarine rescue system, said the Indonesian vessel was not fitted with a rescue seat around an escape hatch designed for underwater rescues.
He said a rescue submarine would make a waterproof connection to a disabled submarine with a so-called skirt fitted over the rescue seat so that the hatch can be opened without the disabled submarine filling with water.
Owen said the submarine could be recovered from 1,640ft (500m) without any damage but couldn’t say if it would have imploded at 2,300ft (700m).
The Malaysian Navy have provided a submarine rescue ship, the MV Mega Bakti, to help find the KRI Nanggala near the island of Bali
The marines (above) patrolling the waters will be supported by ships from Singapore and Malaya
The Indonesian Rescue Agency are part of the hunt for the vanished submarine
The hunt for Nanggala-402: Rescuers prepare to set off from Bali on a search mission with 53 submarine crew members missing
The fate of the 53 sailors hangs in the balance as Indonesian marines search for the missing submarine
An aerial search by a helicopter found an oil spill in waters where the submarine (file photo) was thought to have submerged
In 2018, authorities found the wreckage of a missing Argentine submarine that had gone missing a year earlier.
Crushed from an implosion, the ARA San Juan was located at a depth of more than 3,000ft (900m) in a desolate area of undersea craters and canyons 250 miles (400km) off the coast of Argentina.
The accident took the lives of 44 sailors.
Then, in 2019, a French submarine that went missing in the western Mediterranean over 50 years ago was found.
The diesel-electric Minerve submarine was lost off France’s southern coast with 52 sailors on board on January 27, 1968.
The Minerve was on a training mission in bad weather when it went down while returning to its base in Toulon, France’s main Mediterranean naval port.
Experts have speculated that the disaster was caused by a problem with the Minerve’s rudder, a collision with another boat, the explosion of a missile or torpedo, or a fault with its oxygen supply systems.
Missing Naggala 402
Age: 44 years after being built in 1977
Top speed: 25 knots (46 km/hr)
Range: 8,200 nautical miles (15,200 km)
Maximum diving depth: 843ft
Weight: 1,395 tons
Length: 65 yards
Fuel: Powered by four electric deisel engines
Armaments: 14 torpedoes located in eight tubes. It is also equipped with a CSU-3-2 suite type sonar
Built in: Lübeck, Germany
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