The Indonesian navy is looking for a submarine that went missing north of the tourist island of Bali with 53 people on board, according to the military on Wednesday.
Military chief Hadi Tjahjanto claimed that the KRI Nanggala 402 was engaged in a training exercise when it failed to register for duty.
He believes the submarine went down in waters about 60 miles (95 kilometres) north of Bali.
Tjahjanto stated that the navy has sent dozens of aircraft, including a hydrographic survey ship, to search the region and has requested assistance from Singapore and Australia, both of which have submarine rescue vessels.
According to the Defense Ministry, the submarine lost touch after being given permission to dive. A helicopter later discovered an oil spill near the dive’s starting point, according to the study.
According to the report, the submarine was carrying 49 crew members, including its commander and three gunners.
According to the navy, an electrical malfunction occurred during the dive, causing the submarine to lose power and become unable to perform rescue procedures that would have required it to resurface. According to the study, the submarine sank to a depth of 600-700 metres (2,000-2,300 feet).
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The submarine, which has been in operation in Indonesia since 1981, was rehearsing for a missile-firing exercise scheduled for Thursday. Tjahjanto and other military commanders were expected to participate.
Indonesia currently operates five submarines with expects to have at least eight operational by 2024.
The nation, which has more than 17,000 islands, has faced increasing challenges to its maritime assertions in recent years, including several accidents involving Chinese vessels near the Natuna islands.
On a visit to the South China Sea islands last year, President Joko Widodo reaffirmed the country’s sovereignty.
His visit came only a week after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang insisted that Chinese fishermen are free to operate in areas China claims as its traditional fishing grounds, which partially overlap Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.
Image Credit: Vijith Pulikkal/Gulf News | Graphic News
In Indonesia, Geng’s comment sparked outrage, prompting the military to beef up its presence on the islands. Despite China’s assertions for years, hundreds of Chinese fishing boats, accompanied by coast guard warships, have reportedly made more hostile movements in the region and defied Indonesian warnings to leave.