Indonesia races to find missing submarine with 53 crew members aboard
Indonesia deployed warships Thursday in the hunt for a navy submarine that went missing with 53 crew aboard off the coast of Bali, as other nations sent vessels to help with the search.
An oil spill where the vessel was thought to have submerged early Wednesday during regular exercises could point to damage, the navy has said, fanning fears that the Southeast Asian nation may be the latest country to suffer a fatal submarine disaster.
The German-built KRI Nanggala 402 was scheduled to conduct live torpedo exercises when it asked for permission to dive. It lost contact shortly after.
Navy spokesman Julius Widjojono said Thursday that search teams were focused on an area around the oil slick, but that the exact location of the vessel had yet to be pinpointed.
“It has not been found yet,” Widjojono told AFP.
“But we’ve detected the area…Today, around 400 personnel have been deployed.”
Six warships and a helicopter have been sent out to look for the sub, the navy said.
Indonesian navy submarine which has disappeared with 53 people on board, in waters north of Bali. (photos from Indonesian navy) pic.twitter.com/T8CiVuZ6lG
— Anne Barker (@AnneABarker) April 21, 2021
Other nations including the United States, Australia, France and Germany have offered help.
“We are obviously very concerned about these reports. It’s very distressing for families and particularly for the Indonesian navy,” Australian foreign minister Marise Payne told broadcaster ABC.
“We’ve indicated that we will help in any way we can.”
Neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia have already dispatched rescue ships that are expected to arrive in the coming days, said military spokesman Achmad Riad.
There were 53 crew aboard the vessel, which was believed to be in waters about 700 metres (2,300 feet) deep.
French navy vice admiral Antoine Beaussant told AFP earlier 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…..read more