Indonesia, US and Australia send aid to race against time to find submarine

Missing submarine Indonesian submarine searches for water outside Bali for traces of KRI Nangala.EPA film

According to the Indonesian Navy, 53 crew members have more than three hours of oxygen from Friday to Saturday. “We will maximize our search efforts,” a military spokesman said. Anxiety is mounting as no trace of the group’s life has been found for two days.

The Australian naval vessel, equipped with sonar equipment and a helicopter, will arrive in the area off the coast of Bali on Friday. Another Australian naval vessel and ship is expected from Singapore and Malaysia. The U.S. Air Force will also assist Indonesia.

The U.S. Department of Defense says it was “heartbroken” at the news of the submarine’s departure from radar Wednesday during a drill on the coast of Bali. “Our thoughts are with the Indonesian sailors and their families,” a Pentagon spokesman said. Defense Minister Lloyd Austin will discuss with his Indonesian counterpart Prabho Subianto on Friday how the United States can help.

Power outage

Leaking oil at the point where the submarine went diving indicates damage to the fuel tank. This has raised fears of a deadly disaster in Nangala. The Navy is investigating whether the power went out when the pigeon went down during training.

The crew was unable to carry out emergency procedures when the 44-year-old submarine sank to a depth of about 700 meters. According to Navy Commander Yudo Marcono, something with a “strong magnetic force” was discovered at a depth of 50 to 100 meters. Nangala can handle a depth of about five hundred meters. In some parts of the Bali Sea it is more than 1,500 meters deep.

According to the Indonesian security expert, there is no denying that the group is still alive. On board is the Commander of the Submarine Service, Harry Chettiavan. “But if the submarine is at a depth of seven hundred meters, it is difficult to survive,” said expert Connie Ragundini Bakri. “Under pressure under water can explode and cause cracks in the steel surface.”

Various accidents

“I hope they will be found alive,” said Berta Asmara, the wife of Guntur member Ari Pracetio, a group member who has been stationed in Nangala for ten years. When she last spoke to her husband, she announced that she was going to sea. “He asked me to pray for him,” Asmara said.

“Our top priority is the safety of 53 team members,” President Joko Widodo told the crowd in a televised address. He also addressed the family members of the missing group. “I understand your feelings and we will do everything we can to save everyone on board,” the president promised.

According to the Ministry of Defense, Nangala was still in good condition. The submarine has been in service with the Navy since 1981 and was upgraded in 2012 in South Korea. Indonesia has five submarines: two built in Germany, including Nangala, and three newly built in South Korea. Jakarta wants to modernize the armed forces. There have been many accidents with obsolete equipment in recent years.

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