BALI: There is evidence that the missing Indonesian KRI Nanggala 402 submarine has sunk, while objects have been recovered, said military chief Hadi Tjahjanto on Saturday (Apr 24).
Speaking at a press conference, he said: “The navy has found oil spill and parts of objects which is evidence that the KRI Nanggala has sunk.”
Navy chief Yudo Margono added: "Over the past few days, we've recovered debris and items from the last location that the submarine was diving."
"(The items) would not have come outside the submarine if there was no external pressure or without damage to its torpedo launcher."
He showed reporters some of the objects that have been recovered, including part of a torpedo, part of a praying mat and grease.
Several Indonesian officials, including Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawait, posted condolences to the families on social media.
A submarine part that was manufactured in South Korea was also recovered, said Admiral Margono. The KRI Nanggala 402 underwent a retrofit in South Korea in 2012.
He said that a scan has detected what might be the submarine at 850m. The vessel is built to withstand a depth of up to 500m.
“Because it is at the depth of 850m, it is very risky and very difficult for an ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) … to lift it,” the navy chief added.
The KRI Nanggala 402 submarine went missing on Wednesday with 53 people on board when taking part in a torpedo drill in north Bali waters. Contact with the vessel was lost at 4.30am local time, after it asked for permission to dive at 3am.
A total of 49 crew members, one ship commander and three weapons specialists were on board the submarine, the defence ministry had said.
The military assumed that the submarine experienced a power outage. In that condition, the submarine could have run out of oxygen by 3am on Saturday.
If there is no power blackout, the oxygen can last for five days, said the navy chief on Saturday.
At least 25 Indonesian ships have joined the search. More ships from other countries, including Singapore’s MV Swift Rescue will also be involved.
During the Saturday press conference, the Indonesian navy chief noted that the ROV on MV Swift Rescue can operate at the depth of up to 1,000m.