The Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Armed Forces, Hadi Tjahjanto, confirmed this Sunday the death of the 53 crew members of the submarine KRI Nanggala 402 sunk last Wednesday during military exercises in Bali.
Rescuers have obtained “visual images” of parts of the submarine such as the rear vertical rudder, various anchors and sections of the outer hull.
“Based on authentic evidence, we declare that the KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and that all the members of its crew have perished,” explained the Indonesian military chief in a press conference reported by the country’s press. “Therefore, with great regret, and as commander, I declare that the 53 crew members of KRI Nanggala 402 have died,” he said at a press conference from Bali.
At the conference, a vest from the submarine found by rescuers was shown, a material that is normally stored in an “emergency box”, so it is assumed that one of the soldiers opened it, but was unable to put it on.
The commander of the Indonesian Navy, Yudo Margono, has explained that the remote-controlled submarine of the ‘MV Swift Rescue’ of Singapore entered the water at 7:00 a.m. and that at 9:00 a.m. it obtained the first images of the wrecked submarine, at 850 meters deep.
“The KRI Nanggala is divided into three parts: the hull, the stern and the main part are separated. The main part is cracked, ”explained Margono.
The incident is being investigated, but for the moment a human error is ruled out, since the entire procedure was correct at the time of the dive.
Now the goal is to refloat the German-made submarine, although Margono himself has recognized that the peculiarities of the case make it difficult to decide on a suitable method.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo had already expressed his condolences to the families of the 53 sailors. “This incident is a blow to all of us. We have conveyed our sincere condolences for this tragedy, in particular for the sailors ”, said the president in a message posted on YouTube.
An Australian ship and several US aircraft are also involved in the search, along with 21 Indonesian warships. The Australian frigate HMAS Sirius, the Malaysian submarine MV Mega Bhakti and an Indian deep-sea rescue vessel, the SIC Sabarmati, were also heading to the area.
The submarine was located about 95 kilometers north of Bali on Saturday, three days after the last communication. It is found at a depth of about 850 meters when it is designed for a maximum depth of 250-500 meters. Estimates set the end of the oxygen supply on Saturday morning.