Indonesia ramps up search for missing submarine carrying a crew of 53 people

An Indonesian conventional submarine went missing this week with 53 persons on board off the coast of Bali.

According to Jakarta Post, the missing submarine was believed to be in around 700 metre (2,300 feet)-deep waters. 

“It’s a classic submarine,” French navy vice-admiral Antoine Beaussant was quoted as saying by AFP. He also said the vessel has a safety descent level of 250 metre.

“If it went down to rest at 700 metres, the likelihood is it would have broken up,” he added.

According to available information, the submarine had dived for a torpedo firing practice, but lost contact. The submarine is said to have fired two torpedoes — live and a practice torpedo — before losing contact.

The ramped-up hunt comes as Australia and the United States are set to join the search off the coast of Bali where the sub disappeared more than two days ago during training exercises.

Late Thursday, the military said it picked up signs of an unidentified object with high magnetism at a depth of between 50 and 100 metres (165 to 330 feet).

Ships equipped with sonar-tracking equipment were deployed in the hopes that the object could be the KRI Nanggala 402, which was equipped with oxygen reserves that could last until early Saturday, authorities said.

“We’ve only got until 3:00 am tomorrow (Saturday) so we’re maximising all of our efforts today,” said Indonesian military spokesman Achmad Riad.

“Hopefully there will be a bright spot.”

But an oil spill spotted where the submarine was thought to have submerged pointed to possible fuel-tank damage, fanning fears of a deadly disaster.

There are also concerns that the submarine could have sunk to depths believed to be as much as 700 metres (2,300 feet) — well below what it was built to withstand.

Indian Navy also sent its Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) to assist Indonesian Navy in trying to find its submarine, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday spoke with his Indonesian counterpart on the issue.

Source- The Indian Express