The search for the missing Indonesian submarine with 53 crew aboard has passed a grim milestone, with official estimates predicting the vessel would have run out of oxygen early this morning.
Indonesia’s naval chief warned that oxygen supplies for the KRI Nanggala-402 would run out by on Saturday at 3 am.
The KRI Nanggala-402 submarine, which contains 53 crew, lost contact in the waters of North Bali in the early hours of Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Until now, TNI-Polri (army and police), assisted by several countries, are still searching for the ship’s whereabouts.
Here are some boat search facts:
- The ship is thought to be at a depth of 600 meters
Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Yudo Margono suspects the submarine sank to a depth of 600-700 meters, much deeper than the depth position estimated by the company that upgraded the ship’s capabilities in 2009-2012, which is 200 meters.
- There is a fuel oil spill in the vicinity
Head of the Naval Information Service, Laksma Julius Widjojono, suspected that the fuel tank might have cracked. This is due to the oil spill around the submerged area.
“There was an oil spill around the sinking area. “There may be damage to the fuel tank (cracks) due to seawater pressure or the position signal from KRI Nanggala-402,” said Julius.
- KRI magnetic point detection
Head of the Indonesian National Armed Forces Information Center, Maj. Gen. Achmad Riad stated that in the latest developments, KRI Rimau detected a magnetic spot thought to have originated from KRI Nanggala in the waters north of Bali.
“There is a strong magnetic point. Hopefully, it will not change and it will be pursued,” said Riad in a press conference broadcast live from Bali on April 23, 2021 morning.
- 10 countries intervened to help
Admiral Yudo Margono said 10 countries were ready to join in helping the search effort. The 10 countries are Singapore, Malaysia, India, Australia, South Korea, Turkey, Russia, the United States, France, and Germany.
Several countries already sent assistance to search for ships that have been operated by the Indonesian Navy since 1981.
Countries helping include Singapore, India, Australia, the United States, and Malaysia.
Head of the Indonesian Navy Information Service (Kadispenal), Julius Widjono is still optimistic that his party can find KRI Nanggala. He also asked for prayers that the 53 crew members would be safe.
“We must be optimistic. We ask for prayers from all Indonesians that 53 people will be safe,” said Julius, Saturday (24/4).
The last time the submarine made contact when it was about to dive at around 03.00 am, last Wednesday (21/4). Once in the water, the ship was out of contact.
Chief of Navy Staff Admiral TNI Yudo Margono said that around 03.00 am to 03.30 the KRI Nanggala bow deck was still visible to the sea rider tracking team within 50 meters.
Then at 3:46, the sea rider monitored the periscope, and the identification light from the KRI Nanggala which started diving and was not visible.
“At 03.36 to 03.46, we kept calling Nanggala but there was no response. So there should have been a periscope when it was drowning, it was still visible, but it immediately sank, there was no periscope,” he said.
According to the estimated schedule, the KRI Nanggala was supposed to appear at 5:15 a.m. But at that time, KRI Nanggala did not appear on the surface.
All elements were deployed to look for KRI Nanggala-402 and the training was postponed.
Yudo also explained that the oxygen reserves contained in the KRI Nanggala-402 submarine can last up to 72 hours from blackout conditions.
“So the ability of oxygen if the blackout condition is capable of 72 hours. So it will take approximately 3 days. Hopefully, before that it can be found,” said Yudo in a press conference, Thursday (22/4).
However, after more than 72 hours, the German-made ship has not been found.
Head of the Indonesian National Armed Forces Information Center, Major General Achmad Riad, said that the search for the KRI Nanggala 402 submarine is now spread over nine points in the waters of Bali.
“According to the data we received until this afternoon there are nine points,” said Riad when holding a press conference in Bali, Friday (23/4).
The nine search points included the location of the oil spill and a strong magnetic pull which was previously detected by one of the KRI and the helicopter monitoring the location.
This search point is spread over a distance of 23 miles from North Bali or about 43 kilometers from Celukan Bawang.
photo by: Antara / M Risyal Hidayat