The submarine KRI Nanggala-402 lost contact in waters to the north of Bali on Wednesday 21st April. Up to Thursday afternoon, there has been no sign of the sub and the search operation is still ongoing.
It has been more than 31 hours since the submarine KRI Nanggala-402 was noted as having disappeared. Based on a written statement from the Defence Ministry’s Public Relations Bureau, KRI Nanggala-402 asked for permission to dive at 3am local time on Wednesday.
After permission was granted, KRI Nanggala-402 lost contact. Previously, Indonesian Army Commander Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto stated the submarine lost contact at around 4:30am.
“Communication to carry out the shooting practice was done but no feedback was received,” said Marshall Hadi.
Reports regarding the discovery of the KRI Nanggala, which states that underwater movement had been detected by KRI Raden Eddy Martadinata (331) is circulating. Head of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, Major General Achmad Riad, emphasised that there was no source for the reports.
“Furthermore, there have been reports in addition to the finding of oil by KRI REM 331, that reported underwater movement was seen at a speed of 2.5 knots. The contact was then lost so that is still not enough to identify the contact as the submarine,” he said.
KRI Nanggala-402 is carrying 53 people, consisting of 49 crew members, a unit commander, and three weapons personnel.
Until now, the condition of the submarine crew is unknown. However, the Head of the Naval Information Service, First Admiral Julius Widjojono of the Indonesian Navy, confirmed that there were oxygen cylinders for the crew on board.
The First Admiral didn’t specify how many oxygen cylinders were available on the submarine. Furthermore, he explained that submarine operations under the sea depend on battery power.
“If the battery capacity is large, it can last for days. Charging the battery is nuclear technology that will last longer underwater. As well as speed and power, nuclear is more effective. It goes up to the surface, it is filled, it is charged, and once it is full, it goes down again,” he continued.
The Indonesian National Armed Forces Commander Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto has said that Indonesia had asked for help from Singapore and Australia, which have submarine rescue ships to search for the Nanggala-402 submarine.
The Indonesian Navy has also sent a distress call to the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Officer (ISMERLO) to a number of allied countries.
On Wednesday night, the search party sent KRI Rigel from Dishidros Jakarta and KRI Rengat from the Mine Unit to assist the search using side-scan sonar. Two crisis centre posts have been established at the Command Headquarters Fleet II Surabaya and the Banyuwangi Naval Base.
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