US joins race to find stricken Indonesia submarine

Indonesian submarine goes missing north of Bali
Officials say a KRI Nanggala-402 submarine (pictured here in a file image) has gone missing. Source: ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: The United States is sending airborne assistance to aid Indonesia’s search mission for a missing submarine with 53 crew.

The authorities in Indonesia estimate they have just hours left to find the navy submarine before the oxygen runs out.

On Wednesday, the KRI Nanggala 402 disappeared during exercises off the coast of the island of Bali, sparking a frantic search to locate the stricken vessel.

An oil slick where the navy vessel was thought to have submerged suggested damage to a fuel tank may have been a factor.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the United States was “deeply saddened” by the turn of events.

Mr Kirby said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with the Indonesian sailors and their families. At the invitation of the Indonesian government, we are sending airborne assets to assist in the search for the missing submarine.”

Late on Thursday, the Indonesian military said that it had detected signs of an object at a depth of between 50 and 100 metres, and had deployed sonar-tracking equipment and ships in the hope it was the KRI Nanggala 402.

Indonesian military spokesman Achmad Riad said: “We’ve only got until 0300 tomorrow [Saturday] so we’re maximising all of our efforts today. Hopefully there will be a bright spot.”

At least six warships, 400 people and a helicopter have since been involved in the search mission. Malaysia and Singapore have dispatched ships to the area, and Australia, Germany and France have also offered assistance.

The German-built vessel lost contact shortly after requesting permission to dive during live torpedo exercises early on Wednesday morning. The submarine is one of five submarines operated by Indonesia and it was made in the late 1970s, and underwent a two-year refit in South Korea that was completed in 2012.

You may read: Indonesian submarine goes missing north of Bali