A submarine went missing in Indonesia, carrying 53 people. The military said on Wednesday that the submarine was missing near the island of Bali. The Indonesian Navy is engaged in a search operation. Army chief Hadi Zahjanto said KRI Nangagala 402 was participating in a training operation on Wednesday when she disappeared. He said the submarine went missing in the water about 95 km north of Bali.
Local media said the Navy believed the submarine sank to a depth of 700 meters above sea level. There is no information as to why the submarine went missing. The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the submarine had received clearance to dive and had not been contacted since. He said a helicopter later spilled oil at the spot where the submarine was to begin to dive into the sea. He said the submarine had 49 crew members, its commander and three gunners and the contact with the vessel was lost at 4.30am on Wednesday. Built in Germany, the submarine has been in service in Indonesia since 1981. The military chief confirmed that assistance in the search for the submarine and missing crew members had been sought from Australia and Singapore. Preparations were underway on Wednesday for a missile firing practice on Thursday.
Former nuclear sub commander Ryan Ramsey warned the missing crew may never be found as the water where they vanished is almost a mile deep. The only option for survivors is to don so-called “escape suits” and exit through the conning tower. Suits allow the wearers to survive for up to 24 hours on the surface – but they can only operate at limited depths of around 200 metres. Indonesia is the largest archipelagic country in the world with around 17,000 islands and has faced a number of maritime challenges in recent years.