Bermuda Post

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Indonesia finds remains of missing submarine and considers it sunk

Indonesia finds remains of missing submarine and considers it sunk

Authorities believe the KRI Nanggala-402 submarine is now at a depth of about 850 meters.
Indonesia on Saturday declared the submarine that disappeared at dawn on Wednesday in the waters of Bali after finding several objects belonging to the submersible in the search area, but the authorities do not give up hope of finding any of the 53 crew members alive.

Yudo Margono, head of the Indonesian Navy, said today at a press conference that in recent days they have found parts of a torpedo, a cooling tube, a cloth used to pray and lubricant for the periscope among other objects, which could indicate that there was a crack in the ship.

"No ships passed by within a ten mile radius, so experts believe these objects belonged to KRI Nanggala," Margono said.

Authorities believe that KRI Nanggala-402 is now at a depth of about 850 meters, but said they continue to harbor hopes of finding some of the 53 crew members alive and are preparing for possible evacuations of survivors.

Due to the great depth at which they believe it is, they suspect that the submarine began to suffer cracks when it was between 400 and 500 meters below the surface, as it was not designed to descend further.

The prospects of finding the crew members on board the submarine alive were already minimal since last morning the 72-hour deadline set as the limit for oxygen reserves was fulfilled.

A power outage during the submergence could cause the crew to lose control of the submersible and prevent them from conducting an emergency evacuation, according to the Indonesian Navy.

Margono clarified that oxygen lasts a maximum of three days in the event of a power outage, but if the electrical systems continued to function it could last up to five days.

INTERNATIONAL AID

Hundreds of people in boats and helicopters of the Indonesian Navy comb relentlessly aided by the sonar system and other equipment the waters north of the island of Bali where contact with the submarine KRI Nanggala-402, manufactured in Germany in 1978, was lost during some military maneuvers.

The US Navy's Boeing P-8 Poseidon, designed for antisubmarine warfare missions and interception of vessels, was scheduled to be added to the search last night, but the Indonesian authorities have not confirmed its arrival at the moment.

In addition to the US, Australia, India and Singapore have also been involved in the search, with special equipment that can help locate the submarine.

The search has focused in the last hours in nine points within a zone of ten nautical miles following the trace of the fuel leaks and the detected magnetic fields, which could indicate the presence of the spacecraft.

According to information from the Indonesian Army, the submarine began the dive at 3:46 a.m. local time on Wednesday (20:46 GMT on Tuesday) and about 15 minutes later began loading torpedo tube number 8.

The last communication with the crew took place at 4:25 local time (21:25 GMT on Tuesday) and before authorizing the launch of the torpedo, the connection with the ship was lost.

Indonesia currently has a fleet of five submarines, two of German manufacture, including the missing one, which was acquired in 1981, and three manufactured in South Korea.

The disappearance of the submarine evokes other tragedies such as that of the Argentine Navy submersible "ARA San Juan", with 44 crew members, disappeared in 2017 and found a year later, as well as the serious accident of the Russian nuclear "Kursk".

The accident of the Russian nuclear submarine, considered the "jewel" of the Russian Northern Fleet, which took place on August 12, 2000 when during naval maneuvers it was submerged at rest at the bottom of the Arctic with 118 crew members on board, is the most serious till the date.
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