Debris found in hunt for missing Indonesian submarine

24 April 2021, 10:06 | Updated: 24 April 2021, 14:09

Debris has been found in the search for KRI Nanggala 402, as scans detected the vessel
Debris has been found in the search for KRI Nanggala 402, as scans detected the vessel. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Officials in Indoensia say debris from a missing submarine has been recovered.

Military bosses said a scan of the ocean located the missing Indonesian navy submarine around 850m beneath the surface.

The discovery of debris suggests it may have sunk.

Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Yudo Margono said in a press conference that the crew have still not been located.

The items found, which were presented to journalists, include a bottle of grease, part of a torpedo launcher, part of a metal tube, prayer mats and fuel. They were found around 2 miles away from were the submarine dived.

Yudo added it is not thought an explosion happened on the vessel, but heavy pressure could have possibly caused a crack which the items could have escaped from.

The US military had sent airborne assets to join the search for KRI Nanggala 402, which was last seen off the island of Bali on Wednesday.

53 people are known to be onboard and Yudo said the submarine was expected to run out of oxygen by around 3am Saturday - 8pm Friday GMT.

Military bosses said a scan of the ocean located the missing Indonesian navy submarine around 850m beneath the surface
Military bosses said a scan of the ocean located the missing Indonesian navy submarine around 850m beneath the surface. Picture: PA

Read more: Missing submarine has only 'hours of oxygen remaining' as US military join search

The 43-year-old submarine was participating in a torpedo drill when it went missing, although the exact cause of its disappearance is not yet known.

The navy has said an electrical failure could have left the submarine unable to execute emergency procedures to resurface.

On Thursday, at least 20 navy ships, two submarines and five aircraft were mobilised in the search, with more efforts expected through Friday as offers for help pour in from around the world

Submarine accidents are often disastrous.

In 2000, the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk suffered internal explosions and sank during manoeuvres in the Barents Sea.

Most of its 118 crew died instantly, but 23 men fled to a rear compartment before they later died, mainly of suffocation.

In November 2017, an Argentine submarine went missing with 44 crew members in the South Atlantic, almost a year before its wreckage was found at a depth of 800 metres.

But in 2005, seven men aboard a Russian mini-sub were rescued nearly three days after their vessel was snagged by fishing nets and cables in the Pacific Ocean. They had only six hours of oxygen left before reaching the surface.

The German-built diesel-powered KRI Nanggala 402 has been in service in Indonesia since 1981 and was carrying 49 crew members and three gunners as well as its commander, the Indonesian Defence Ministry said.

More to follow...

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