53 Sailors Presumed Dead After Missing Indonesian Submarine Found

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In a really sad turn of events, rescuers’ worst fears have come true as debris from the missing submarine was found, all but confirming that everyone on board had lost their lives.

As the search efforts continued on Saturday morning, hope to rescue the sailors faded away each minute as the submarine and its occupants continued to run out of oxygen. Now, debris believed to be from the submarine has been found by Indonesian officials. This includes a bottle of lubricant and a device that protects a torpedo, according to Air Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto. “The objects found near the last location of the submarine are believed to be parts of the submarine,” he said. “These objects would have never got out of the submarine unless there was pressure.”

The submarine, named the KRI Nanggala-402, was one of five submarines in Indonesia’s fleet and disappeared off the coast of Bali during live torpedo exercises on Wednesday evening. Today, Indonesia’s Navy changed the status from ‘sub miss’ to ‘sub sank’.

Naval chief Yudo Margono said that rescuers had found several items belonging to the submarine, including ‘parts of a torpedo straightener, a grease bottle believed to be used to oil the periscope, and prayer rugs from the submarine’. He also added that authorities will now carry out an evacuation process to pinpoint the exact location of the submarine and hopefully recover the bodies of the sailors. The search operation will continue through warships deployed on the Bali sea that will try detecting metal or magnetic objects in the sea. No sign of the sailors has been found so far.

Image courtesy: DW

A scan revealed the submarine to be 850 meters below the surface, a depth that is well beyond its survival limits. While an explosion is not believed to have occurred, the naval chief stated that high pressure likely caused cracks in the submarine through which the objects escaped. “If it’s an explosion it will be in pieces. The cracks happened gradually in some parts when it went down from 300 meters to 400 meters to 500 meters… If there was an explosion, it would be heard by the sonar,” said Margono.

While some family members are still holding out hope, it would be nothing short of a miracle if any of the sailors survived.

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