According to CNN, the Indonesian Navy is under intense pressure to find a missing submarine whose crew members only have enough oxygen for three days.
The KRI Nanggala-402, a German-built submarine with 53 crew members, requested permission to dive at 3:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday. Before making the request, the submarine conducted a training exercise in the Bali Strait, firing a torpedo with real ammunition and a real warhead.
According to Admiral Yudo Margono, the head of the Indonesian Navy staff, the ship had last participated in the exercise and had lost contact in Surabaya, a port city on Java Island, for maintenance.
Authorities believe the submarine went deeper than its maximum depth of 500 metres due to a power outage by 100 to 200 metres. Officials stated that the crew members on board are well prepared, but they also acknowledged that the submarine’s depth under the sea could be fatal.
“Please pray for their survival,” said First Adm. Julius Widjojono, the Indonesian Navy’s media spokesman.
Since Wednesday, two ships equipped with side-scan sonar have been surveying the area. A warship outfitted with cutting-edge sonar technology will soon join the rescue mission. Reuters reports that several countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia, have offered assistance.
“I directed the Military Chief, the Chief of Staff of the Navy, the Search and Rescue Agency, and other bodies to deploy all forces in all possible ways to find and rescue the underwater crew,” President Joko Widodo said Thursday.
An aerial search for the dam revealed that the vessel had been damaged by an oil spill near the submarine’s dive site, according to authorities. A “high magnetic force” object floating at a depth of 50 to 100 metres, according to Navy Chief of Staff Margono.