Indonesian navy submarine with 53 people on board goes missing north of Bali

21 April 2021, 14:50 | Updated: 28 April 2021, 19:19

A KRI Nanggala-402 submarine (pictured above in a file image) has gone missing near Bali
A KRI Nanggala-402 submarine (pictured above in a file image) has gone missing near Bali. Picture: Getty
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

An Indonesian navy submarine with 53 people on board has gone missing off the coast of Bali, military officials have said.

The German-built vessel disappeared during a training exercise on Wednesday in waters 60 miles north of the resort island.

Military chief Hadi Tjahjanto said the KRI Nanggala 402 sub sparked concern after it missed a scheduled reporting call.

Indonesia's navy has sent warships to the area in a bid to find the missing underwater craft, Mr Tjahjanto added.

He said the country has asked for help from Singapore and Australia, both of which have submarine rescue vessels.

"We are still searching in the waters of Bali, 60 miles (96km) from Bali, (for) 53 people," he told reporters.

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The submarine went missing roughly 60 miles north of Bali, Indonesia
The submarine went missing roughly 60 miles north of Bali, Indonesia. Picture: Google Maps

Local media reports said the navy believes the submarine sank into a trough at a depth of 2,300ft.

The Defence Ministry said the craft lost contact after being granted clearance to dive. It said a helicopter later spotted an oil spill near the dive's starting position.

The sub, which has been active since 1981, was rehearsing for a missile-firing exercise planned for Thursday that the military chief and other leaders in the armed services were planning on attending.

Mr Tjahjanto said contact with the 1,395-tonne vessel was lost at around 4:30am local time (9:30pm Tuesday UK time).

First Admiral Julius Widjojono said a search is still ongoing but the area where the sub went missing is "quite deep".

Indonesia has a fleet of five submarines and plans to operate at least eight by 2024.

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