Monday, June 21, 2021

Indonesia beefs up search for missing submarine

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tiamin rice

Indonesia on Friday intensified its search for a military submarine that went missing off Bali with 53 people on board, deploying dozens of ships and a submarine.

The German-made KRI Nanggala-402 lost contact about 95 kilometres north of Bali in the early hours of Wednesday during a torpedo attack exercise with 49 crew members, three gunners and a commander, officials said.

“We are deploying 21 warships, including the KRI Alugoro, which is a submarine,” armed forces spokesman, Achmad Riad, said at a news conference.

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The warships are supported by several civilian vessels, including ones equipped with sonar technology to detect underwater objects and remotely-operated vehicles, he said.

He said Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, India and the United States were also sending rescue vessels and aircraft to support the search.

Oxygen aboard the submarine could last until early Saturday, the Navy said on Thursday.

“In the event of an electrical failure, the oxygen can last approximately 72 hours.

“It can last until Saturday 3 am. We hope that we can find it while the oxygen reserve is still available,” Navy chief of staff, Admiral Yudo Margono, said.

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The Navy said the submarine was suspected to be 600-700 metres underwater, although it was designed to dive to depths of 250-500 metres.

Aerial surveillance by a helicopter found an oil spill in the location where the submarine was last detected, but it is not clear if it was connected to the accident.

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The Nanggala-402 was built by German company Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel in the late 1970s.

dpa/NAN

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