Missing submarine crew Indonesia has oxygen until Saturday

At least the crew of the missing Indonesian submarine will have oxygen until Saturday. This reports the Navy, which started a major search to track the 44 year old KRI Nanggala 402.

The submarine with 53 crew members disappeared on Wednesday during exercises north of Bali. The submarine had requested permission to dive, and then there was no contact. Later, leaked oil was found, indicating possible damage on board.

The Indonesian Navy has sent six ships and a helicopter to the area to search for the submarine. The search focuses on the area where the leaked oil was found. France, Germany, the United States and Australia have also offered assistance.

Not made for 700 meters depth

Malaysia and Singapore have already sent ships. They will arrive in the next few days. These include the MV Swift Rescue vessel, a specialised rescue craft. Experts do not rule out that rescue is no longer possible if the submarine is at a depth of 700 meters. For that depth, the vessel was not made.

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The submarine is built for a depth of 200 to 250 meters. So if it is indeed 700 meters, possibly at the bottom of the sea, it would be dangerous for the crew. The vessel could have reached this depth due to a power outage during diving, which would have lost control of the submarine and it began to sink.

The vessel should have fired torpedoes on Wednesday and then returned the results of this test to the lead. However, shortly after the submarine went underwater, it disappeared from the radar.

Although the submarine has not yet been found, a helicopter team has seen an oil slick at the point in the sea where the submarine would have gone underwater. This allowed the Navy to narrow the search area. Possibly, the oil would indicate that the vessel is damaged and the fuel tank has been damaged by the water pressure.

Two naval ships and about 400 personnel have sailed out to search. A third ship is on its way from the Indonesian capital Jakarta. The Navy has also sent out an international distress signal. Australia, India and Singapore, among others, have said that they are ready to help.

The submarine in question is a KRI Nanggala 402, built in 1978 in Germany.