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Missing Submarine Running Out of Oxygen As Search Continues

A follow-up on the submarine that got lost off the coast of Bali. On Wednesday around 4:30 am local time, A submarine belonging to the Indonesian Navy mysteriously disappeared after being given permission to dive. It had around 53 people on board and since then no communication has been established with the submarine. Leading authorities to suspect the worst.

The rescue efforts are currently underway with Indonesia even seeking help from Australia and Singapore. The current effort now consists of six warships, one helicopter, and about 400 people all looking for the lost submarine hoping to save the crew on time. The biggest problem is the time factor.

According to the Indonesian defense minister, Prabowo Subianto, “We cannot say for sure if the vessel has sunk, but if it has, the crew may be running out of oxygen”. He told the press during a press conference on Thursday that the vessel, the KRI Nanggala-402, only has enough oxygen to last the crew on board until Saturday. This means that as the seconds go by, the survival rate of the crew goes down as well.

Early reports did suggest that an oil spill has found near the area where the vessel had disappeared leading to speculations that either the fuel tank got damaged somehow during the dive or the crew is trying to send a signal for help. But finding the submarine is a whole other hurdle as the area is vast and too deep for scanners to pick up on anything.

According to first admiral Julius Widjojono, “We know the area but it’s quite deep”. Officials predict that the submarine has sunk as deep as 600 to 700 meters and that is well beyond the levels of pressure it was designed to endure.

The situation looks bleak but no one is losing hope and the rescue efforts are still going strong. Where there is a will, there is a way.