It is with sad news that the doomed Indonesian submarine has been found and all 53 crew members on board pronounced dead.
Image via Sinar Harian
The submarine had gone missing last week off the northern coast of Bali said the Indonesian authorities. According to the military, the submarine KRI Nanggala 402 is likely to have split into three. Pieces of debris from the submarine was found on Sunday and they later found the main body which was not far from where it believed to have sunk.
"We've obtained images that have been confirmed to be parts of KRI Nanggala 402. Based on this authentic evidence, we can say that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all the crew members have passed away," said Chief Gen. Hadi Tjahjanto of the Indonesia Military (TNI).
"On behalf of all soldiers and the big family of the TNI, I... express my deepest condolences. We hope we can all continue your exemplary services as the best soldiers of the TNI."
The Indonesian military alongside the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office will attempt to salvage the submarine and the remains of the fallen crew members.
Image via Nikkei Asia
Chief of Staff Yudo Margono had said that the multipurpose research vessel, the KRI Rigel, had found images of possible debris from the sunken submarine. They had also used a multibeam echo sounder to locate it deep in the water.
The reason for the accident has not been confirmed as they will need to wait till the wreckage is resurfaced but human error has been dismissed as the submarine may of sank due to natural cause.
The search efforts took longer than expected as the echo sounder multibeam could only go up to 800 meters and it was later taken over by Singapore’s MV Swift Rescue which operates remotely underwater. It had later confirmed that the debris found belonged to the submarine.
The navy had also found the submarine escape suits which are normally stored in an emergency box and suggests someone would had attempted to take it out but were unable to wear it.
According to Margono, the KRI Nanggala was split into three parts and it was unlikely that the crew of the KRI Nanggala would have survived.
Image via Nikkei Asia
What was the submarine doing before it went missing?
The submarine and its crew were conducting a torpedo-firing exercise before it vanished on Wednesday 21st April 2021 and it was believed that it had gone beyond their diving limit at 850 meters.
Communications were lost around 4AM and after an hour and 15 minutes, the vessel had not resurfaced.
The submarine has been in service 1981 and had went through a full refit in South Korea in 2012. Although deemed to be in “good condition” by the Indonesian Navy, some have doubted the statement as they mentioned that the poor maintenance of military equipment may have been a contributing factor to the sinking of the submarine.
Our condolences to the families and may the crew rest in peace. It’s a dangerous drop to be operating in the Navy Submarine. In fact, every job has their own risks. We hope the Indonesian government will find out how this happened and hope that it can prevent future submarine incidents.