All 53 on board sunken Indonesian submarine confirmed dead, more debris found: Military chief

All 53 on board sunken Indonesian submarine confirmed dead, more debris found: Military chief

KRI Nanggala 402 submarine press conference
The Indonesian military displays an orange submarine escape suit at a press conference in Bali on the sunken submarine KRI Nanggala 402 on Apr 25, 2021. (Photo: Kiki Siregar)

BALI: All 53 crew members on board a sunken Indonesian submarine have been confirmed dead, with debris of the vessel found, said Indonesia's military chief on Sunday (Apr 25). 

Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said search teams had received "visual images" which have been confirmed as parts of the KRI Nanggala 402 submarine, such as the rear vertical rudder, anchors and the outside of the pressure body. 

"... Based on authentic evidence we state that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all of the crew members have died.

"Therefore, with deep sadness, as the commander, I declare that 53 KRI Nanggala 402 personnel have died," said ACM Tjahjanto at a press conference in Bali.

Indonesia Submarine
An undated underwater photo released on Apr 25, 2021 shows parts of submarine KRI Nanggala 402 that sank in the Bali Sea, Indonesia. (Photo: Indonesian Navy via AP)

SUBMARINE ESCAPE SUIT FOUND

The military showed what it said was a submarine escape suit found by search teams. Navy chief Admiral Yudo Margono said the suit would normally be stored in an "emergency box". He suggested that someone had perhaps taken the suit out of the box but did not manage to wear it.

Indonesia Submarine
An undated underwater photo released on Apr 25, 2021 shows a submarine crew's escape suit recovered from the site where submarine KRI Nanggala 402 sank in the Bali Sea, Indonesia. (Photo: Indonesian Navy via AP)

At least 25 Indonesian ships have been involved in the search for KRI Nanggala 402. Ships from other countries have also been sent. Among them is Singapore's MV Swift Rescue, which arrived early on Sunday.

Adm Margono said the MV Swift Rescue's Remotely Operated Vehicle was deployed at 7am. At around 9am, it obtained visual images of the submarine at a depth of 850m.

Indonesia Submarine
An undated underwater photo released on Apr 25, 2021 shows parts of submarine KRI Nanggala 402 that sank in the Bali Sea, Indonesia. (Photo: Indonesian Navy via AP)

"The KRI Nanggala is divided into three parts, the hull of the ship, the stern of the ship, and the main parts are all separated, with the main part found cracked," he said.​​​​​​​

Investigations are under way for the cause of the sinking but the navy chief told reporters he ruled out human error, saying that the correct procedures were in place when the submarine dove.

Indonesia_Submarine
An undated photo released on Apr 25, 2021 shows parts of submarine KRI Nanggala 402 that sank in the Bali Sea, Indonesia. (Photo: Indonesian Navy via AP)

An attempt will be made to lift the submarine but because of the rarity of such an operation, he said the military had yet to determine how it would do it.

The Indonesian submarine went missing on Wednesday while taking part in a torpedo drill in north Bali waters. 

The military earlier assumed that the submarine experienced a power outage. In that condition, the submarine could have run out of oxygen by 3am on Saturday.

READ: 'We can only pray', says mother-in-law of sailor on missing Indonesian submarine

In a statement on Sunday, President Joko Widodo said: "This tragedy shocked us all. Not only the families of the 53 crew members and the navy, but also the entire Indonesia people."

"We all, the people of Indonesia, would like to convey our sadness ... especially to the families. They are the best sons of Indonesia, the best patriots."

SINGAPORE OFFERS CONDOLENCES

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Sunday said he had called his Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto to offer deepest condolences to the families of the crew.

"We grieve together with the TNI (Indonesian Armed Forces) and the affected families for the loss of these brave men and patriots of the Golden Shark unit on board KRI Nanggala," said Dr Ng in a Facebook post.

"May they rest in peace, having served their country with the utmost dedication and ultimate sacrifice."

Indonesia Submarine
Indonesian Navy submarine KRI Nanggala sails in the waters off Tuban, East Java, Indonesia, as seen in this aerial photo taken from Indonesian Navy helicopter of 400 Air Squadron, in this Oct 6, 2014 photo. (Photo: AP/Eric Ireng)

The wreckage of the submarine was located by Indonesian Navy ship KRI Rigel in the Bali Strait using sonar, added Dr Ng.

The Indonesian Navy then cued Singapore's MV Swift Rescue to provide visual confirmation and retrieve parts of the wreckage using its remotely operated vehicle, he said.

Swift Rescue 1
MV Swift Rescue leaving Changi Naval Base to join the search operations off Bali. (Photo: Facebook/Ng Eng Hen)

Singapore Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean on Sunday expressed "deepest condolences" on the loss of the vessel and the crew. 

"As a fellow naval officer, we are saddened that our rescue team was not able to save the sailors," said Mr Teo, who was Singapore's navy chief before entering politics.  

In a Facebook post, Mr Teo added that the Singapore Navy's Remotely Operated Vehicle was able to recover a "few critical items" from the seabed at a depth of more than 800m. 

"We hope that this will help the families find some closure and certainty on the fate of their loved ones," said Mr Teo. 

Source: CNA

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