Search for missing Indonesian submarine with 53 crew enters a second day

The search for an Indonesian submarine that disappeared with 53 people on board continues today and reinforcements are required.

Rescuers found an oil spill near where the ship submerged when neighboring countries pledged to support the hunt.

The 44-year-old submarine carried out a torpedo drilling in waters north of the island of Bali on Wednesday but did not relay the results as expected, a Navy spokesman said.

An oil spill was found near the submarine’s dive site during a flight search and two naval ships with sonar capabilities were deployed to aid the search, the Defense Department said.

A ministry statement asked for assistance in finding KRI Nanggala-402 and Australia, Singapore and India responded.

The Australian Defense Forces would “help in any way they can,” Foreign Secretary Marise Payne told ABC Radio on Thursday.

“We operate very different submarines than this one, but the Australian Defense Force and Defense Organization will work with defense operations in Indonesia to see what we can possibly do,” she said.

Indonesian military chief Hadi Tjahjanto said on Wednesday that contact with the ship was lost at 4:30 a.m. and a search was underway.

The Indonesian Navy said in a statement, “It is possible that a power failure occurred during static diving, so control was lost and emergency measures could not be taken and the ship would drop to a depth of 600-700 meters.”

An oil spill was found near the submarine's dive site

The submarine was built to maintain pressure at a maximum depth of around 250 meters, an official said.

The oil spill on the surface could also mean the fuel tank has been damaged or a signal from the crew, the Navy said.

The military chief will hold a press conference on the search in Bali on Thursday, a spokesman said.

The 44-year-old submarine was drilling a torpedo when it went off the radar

According to the Defense Ministry, the 1,395-ton KRI Nanggala-402 was built in Germany in 1977 and added to the Indonesian fleet in 1981.

A two-year upgrade was carried out in South Korea, which was completed in 2012.

Indonesia historically operated a fleet of 12 submarines bought by the Soviet Union to patrol the waters of its vast archipelago.

Search for missing Indonesian submarine with 53 crew enters a second day 1

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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 modernize its defense capabilities, but some of its equipment is old and there have been fatal accidents in recent years.


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