Search teams zero in on suspected location of missing Indonesian submarine on last day of its oxygen supply

Search teams say they are focusing on an area where the missing Indonesian submarine could be located. The area of interest is about 40 kilometres north of Bali, where oil has been found on the surface of the water. The head of the Indonesian military’s central information unit says the oil is near a dive point and where an object thought to be from the submarine was detected. The object had a strong magnetic resonance at a depth of 50 to 100 metres.

Officials say the oil could be from the submarine tank leaking because it dove too deep, or the submarine released fluid on board in an attempt to rise to the surface. Indonesian Navy spokesman Julius Widjojono, said the submarine has the capability to dive up to 500 metres below sea level, but authorities estimate it went 100 to 200 metres deeper than that.

But time is running out to find the submarine as authorities say the vessel’s oxygen will run out today. On board the missing vessel are 49 crew members, the submarine’s commander, and 3 arsenal personnel, totaling 53 people. The German-built submarine is one of 5 that belong to the Indonesian navy. The German-made, KRI Nanggala-402, submarine lost contact during a torpedo military exercise in the Bali Strait early Wednesday morning.

Additional ships with high-tech capabilities also joined the search efforts yesterday, creating a search team consisting of 21 Indonesian warships, a submarine and additional vessels from Indonesia’s police and rescue department. 2 Australian warships also joined in the search efforts as well as 3 C-17 aircraft that were expected to depart yesterday from the US.

Meanwhile, families of the submarine crew members are losing hope as today marks the final day that the vessel would have sufficient oxygen. US Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby tweeted his thoughts.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of Indonesia’s lost submarine, and our thoughts are with the Indonesian sailors and their families.”
Mark Hammond, of the Australian task force, echoed in support, saying his thoughts are with the Indonesian people, the crew members, and their families.
“As always, we stand ready to assist our fellow mariners in the Indonesian Navy.”

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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