Indonesia’s Navy is searching for a missing submarine with 53 people on board that went missing during a military exercise, Indonesian authorities said on Wednesday.
Members of National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) prepare for a search mission for Indonesian Navy submarine KRI Nanggala at Benoa harbor in Bali on Wednesday
The military suspects that an oil spill seen in aerial surveillance near the dive point came from the ship. Margono said the navy also found one object floating in the depth of 50-100 meters that was magnetic, meaning it likely came from the sub.
The submarine asked for permission to dive, or submerge, at 3 a.m. local time Wednesday before losing contact, authorities said. Margono said the submarine had just fired two torpedoes — one with real ammunition and another with a practice warhead — as part of a training exercises.
In a statement published Wednesday night, the Indonesian Ministry of Defense said the KRI Nanggala-402, a German-made submarine, lost contact during a torpedo drill in the Bali Strait — a stretch of water between the islands of Java and Bali that connects to the Indian Ocean and Bali Sea.
Yudo Margono, chief of staff of the Indonesian Navy, said that the vessel has sufficient oxygen for all the submariners until Saturday at 3 a.m. local time.
Three submarines, five airplanes and 21 warships have been deployed to help search for the missing sub, Margono said. Assets from Singapore and Malaysia are also en route to assist.