Wreckage of missing submarine is found on ocean floor - 53 crew members confirmed dead

Tammy Hughes
·2-min read
<p>An Indonesian navy patrol ship returns after a search operation for submarine KRI Nanggala that went missing while participating in a training exercise on Wednesday</p> (AP)

An Indonesian navy patrol ship returns after a search operation for submarine KRI Nanggala that went missing while participating in a training exercise on Wednesday

(AP)

Search teams have located the wreckage of a submarine that went missing off the coast of Bali.

Indonesia’s military confirmed it had found the KRI Nanggala 402 in three parts on the ocean floor and that all 53 crew members are dead.

The submarine went missing during a training exercise on Wednesday and oxygen supplies were thought to have run out by Saturday morning.

Yesterday officials said the submarine had sunk and was not merely missing.

“We received underwater pictures that are confirmed as the parts of the submarine, including its rear vertical rudder, anchors, outer pressure body, embossed dive rudder and other ship parts,” military chief Hadi Tjahjanto told reporters in Bali on Sunday.

“With this authentic evidence, we can declare that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all the crew members are dead.”

An undated handout photo of the KRI Nanggala-402EPA
An undated handout photo of the KRI Nanggala-402EPA

An underwater robot equipped with cameras found the lost submarine was lying in at least three pieces on the ocean floor at a depth of 838 meters (2,750 feet).

According to earlier navy statements the KRI Nanggala 402’s collapse depth is 200 meters (655 feet), at which point water pressure would be greater than the hull could withstand.

The wreckage is located 1,500 metres (yards) to the south of the site where the submarine last dove Wednesday, off Bali’s northern coast.

The underwater robot was deployed by Singaporean vessel MV Swift Rescue provided the images, while the Indonesian vessel KRI Rigel had scanned the area where the submarine was believed to have sank using multibeam sonar and a magnetomete.

What caused the submarine to sink is still uncertain.

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

An American reconnaissance plane, a P-8 Poseidon, landed early Saturday and had been set to join the search, along with 20 Indonesian ships, a sonar-equipped Australian warship and four Indonesian aircraft.

The German-built diesel-powered KRI Nanggala 402 had been in service in Indonesia since 1981 and was carrying 49 crew members and three gunners as well as its commander.

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.

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