— Internet News

Search for missing Indonesian submarine enters grim phase with fears oxygen supply has run out

There are now grave fears that the crew of an Indonesian attack submarine has perished as the search for the vessel continues. The hunt for a missing Indonesian submarine is entering a grim new phase, with fears its crew of 53 has perished. Authorities lost contact with the Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala 402 after it submerged early Wednesday during a torpedo drill. It was thought the team would only have enough oxygen to survive until early Saturday, and now that the deadline had passed.

There are concerns that the submarine could have been crushed by water pressure if it sank to depths reaching 700 meters — well below what it was built to withstand.

Australian and US ships have joined warships, planes, and hundreds of military personnel searching for the stricken submarine. “There’s been no progress yet,” said Navy spokesman Julius Widjojono.

“We are still combing the area.”

Despite hopes for a miracle, an oil spill spotted where the submarine is thought to have submerged pointed to possible fuel-tank damage, fanning fears of a deadly disaster.

“The oil spill is a bad sign,” retired French vice-admiral Jean-Louis Vichot said.

“If it’s from the submarine, it is probably the end.”

Few explanations

The vessel was scheduled to conduct the training exercises when it requested diving permission. It lost contact shortly afterward. Authorities have not offered possible explanations for the submarine’s sudden disappearance or commented on whether the decades-old vessel was overloaded.

The military has said the submarine, delivered to Indonesia in 1981, was seaworthy.

Neighboring Singapore, Malaysia, the United States, and Australia were among the nations helping in the hunt, with nearly two dozen ships deployed to scour a search zone covering about 34 square kilometers.

Australia’s HMAS Ballarat arrived on Saturday with a US P-8 Poseidon aircraft also helping to look for the craft.

Singapore’s MV Swift Rescue — a submarine rescue vessel — was expected later Saturday.

Indonesia’s military said earlier it had picked up signs of an object with high magnetism at a depth of between 50 and 100 meters, fanning hopes of finding the submarine.

But the passing of Saturday’s oxygen deadline was likely to mean the Southeast Asian archipelago would be added to a list of countries struck by fatal submarine accidents.

Among the worst was the 2000 sinking of the Kursk, the pride of Russia’s Northern Fleet.

That submarine was on maneuvers in the Barents Sea when it sank with all 118 aboard.

An inquiry found a torpedo had exploded, detonating all the others.

Most of its crew died instantly, but some survived for several days before suffocating. In 2003, 70 Chinese naval officers and staff were killed, apparently strangled, in an accident on a Ming-class submarine during exercises 2003. Five years later, 20 people were killed by poisonous gas when a fire extinguishing system was accidentally activated on a Russian submarine being tested in the Sea of Japan. And in 2018, authorities found the wreckage of an Argentine submarine that had gone missing a year earlier with 44 sailors aboard.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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