A desperate search was launched after a 53-person submarine mysteriously disappeared off the coast of Bali – raising fears that it has sunk.
The Indonesian Navy’s 60-meter ship was unable to report the results of a training exercise on Wednesday, a spokesman said, triggering a huge search in the waters in the north of the island.
The submarine took part in a torpedo exercise in northern Bali’s waters, Navy spokesman First Admiral Julius Widjojono told Reuters.
The German-made submarine KRI Nanggala-402 did not relay the results at 3 a.m. local time as expected, officials confirmed.
Several warships have been sent to the region while the Navy seeks assistance from Australia and Singapore.
An oil spill was discovered near the area where the submarine disappeared, the Indonesian Ministry of Defense said.
The Nanggala is said to have disappeared about 42 km northwest of Singaraja. Janes reports.
Shortly before 9:40 a.m., the Indonesian Navy sent an emergency call to the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) to report the missing ship
It was believed that it sank.
The submarine is one of two Cakra-class attack ships operated by the Indonesian Navy.
Indonesian National Forces commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto told the national newspaper Kompas: “When the diving permit was issued after the permit was issued, contact was lost immediately.”
In a text message, he told Reuters: “We are still looking for 53 people in the waters of Bali, 96 km from Bali.”
The 1,395-ton KRI Nanggala-402 was built in 1978 on the website of the Indonesian Cabinet Secretariat in Germany and converted in South Korea for two years and completed in 2012.
Indonesia historically operated a fleet of 12 submarines bought by the Soviet Union to patrol the waters of its vast archipelago.
But now it has a fleet of only five, including two Germany-built Type 209 submarines and three newer South Korean ships.
Indonesia has tried to improve its defense capabilities, but some of its equipment that is still in service is old and there have been fatal accidents in recent years, particularly involving aging military transport aircraft.